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Xinjiang short of bilingual teachers

(Xinhua)    08:58, February 25, 2015

URUMQI - China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has a shortage of more than 30,000 teachers proficient in both Mandarin and one local language, according to the regional education authority on Tuesday.

Xinjiang is heavily populated by Uygur ethnic minority people. Bilingual education has been promoted by the regional government to help spread Mandarin, the official tongue, and minority languages, especially Uygur, which is written in an Arabic-based script.

According to Xinjiang's education department, bilingual schools and kindergartens currently enroll 70,000 teachers with bilingual proficiency. Since 2010, some 450,000 children have received bilingual education from kindergartens.

Although education facilities in Xinjiang, even in rural areas, have been developing quickly to meet demand over the years, schools are still short of teachers who can speak both Mandarin and one of the local ethnic minority languages fluently.

The education department has listed 34,500 recruitment vacancies, including 3,500 kindergarten teachers in the next three years.

Deputy head of the Xinjiang education department Ma Wenhua said earlier last year that the regional government has approved a budget of 254 million yuan ($41.48 million) for a program from 2013 to 2018 to provide language training for ethnic minority teachers to make up for the shortage of bilingual teachers in the region.

Bilingual education in Xinjiang has been promoted to improve job opportunities for ethnic minorities while preserving local languages in Xinjiang, which boasts over a dozen ethnic minority groups including Uygurs, Kazaks, Hui and Russians.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yao Xinyu,Yao Chun)

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