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China Strives to Lift Preschool Education

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Preschools are the "weakest" part of China's education system, according to the Chinese government which says it will generally improve the country's kindergartens to ensure a quality start for children.

According to a State Council document posted Friday on, the government will spend more money in building, restoring and expanding kindergartens to raise safety levels and meet increasing enrollment demands.

Acknowledging progress made so far, the State Council, or China's Cabinet, noted, "Generally speaking, preschools are still the weakest part of our country's education. Various problems include lack of teaching resources, inadequate investments, understaffing, underdeveloped management systems and imbalances between urban and rural areas."

The State Council encouraged more favorable policies to promote communities, rural areas, and social organizations to establish and support kindergartens.

Such policies and measures include government procuring services, lower rents and sending temporary teachers to local kindergartens, according to the document.

The State Council urged local governments to allocate special funds for kindergartens and to especially focus on rural areas, ensuring their teaching materials, books and toys are adequate.

Earlier reports revealed local governments did not attach enough importance to preschool education, citing that government spending on the issue only made up 1 percent of total education spending.

Meanwhile, county-level education departments were instructed to conduct thorough checks on unlicensed kindergartens and be strict and careful in approving and managing various preschool institutions.

While urging provincial governments to make specific tuition standards in accordance with different regions' development levels and people's income, the State Council revealed that a guideline on kindergarten charges and management would be released in 2011.

In addition, the country will release an official guideline for preschool children's study and development this year, aiming to build up a team of outstanding kindergarten teachers who care about children, said the document.

(Xinhua News Agency November 27, 2010)