China is striving to upgrade its education sector to improve schooling in rural areas. Minister of Education Zhou Ji said in a press conference today that the aim is to attract more teachers and improve the quality of education.
With a population of more than 1.3 billion, China offers the world's largest scale education system.
Since the founding of the people's republic 60 years ago, the country has made significant progress in its education sector.
On average, people aged 15 in China have received more than eight years' education.
About 82 million people in the country's workforce have attained higher education.
Despite these encouraging figures, the Minister says education in China still faces challenges, particularly in rural areas.
Imbalances of economic development in the country's urban and rural areas have resulted in a similar gap forming in education.
The country has about 16 million people working in educational institutions, including 12 million teachers in middle and primary schools.
But the quality of education in rural areas is widely considered as falling below the benchmark set in cities.
Zhou Ji unveiled new measures to attract more teaching talent at rural schools.
A new payment scheme is in place to raise rural teachers' salaries. It's an incentive the Education Minister hopes to attract more graduates to the profession.
Minister of Education Zhou Ji said, "About 200,000 new college graduates are working as teachers in rural areas this year. Meanwhile, we have mobilized a large number of teachers in cities to work at rural schools. We hope to make these measures regular in the future. This is to make more teachers enrich their working experience by working in rural areas, while sending more talents to work at rural schools."
The Ministry of Education will step up its efforts to train teachers in rural areas to give children a brighter future.