Quality Education in China
EQO (Essential-qualities-oriented) Education

Xie Xiaoyi

zahraniční stážista na katedře pedagogiky PdF UP v Olomouci

1. Background

With a history of over 5,000 years, China has had a tradition of respecting teachers and honoring the teaching profession since ancient time. Ancient Chinese education not only played a significant role in passing down and developing Chinese civilization, but also made tremendous contributions to the civilization. Modern Chinese education was initiated about one hundred years ago when the country was undergoing drastic changes and developed quite slowly in general and lagged far behind modern education of the world due to the semi- colonial and semi-feudal nature of Chinese society.

October 1,1949 witnessed the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese Government has attached great importance to the educational cause and the setting up of a new socialist educational system to enhance people’s educational attainment. From that time on, Chinese education has strided to an entirely new stage. The state safeguards the basic right to education of the people and loses no time in developing and improving a new system of education by developing schools of all types and levels to foster well-developed successors of the socialist cause.

To meet the needs of economic and social development and the challenges of the rapid progress of the world science and technology, China has formulated and implemented the strategy of ”revitalizing the country through science and education” and put the development of education as a strategic priority in the socialist modernization drive. China constantly pushes forward the reform and development of education on the principle that education should be oriented toward the modernization drive, the world and the future. It carries out the policy of education must serve the socialist modernization drive and must be combined with productive labour in order to foster builders and successors with all-round development - morally, intellectually, physically and aesthetically - for the socialist cause. However, the educational development in our country is far from being adequate. The structure and management system of education, the prevailing concepts and methods, and patterns of human resources development are yet to fit in with the demands of modernization. At present and for some time in the near future, the lack of creative talents of the highest caliber is one of the major constraints unfavorably affecting the innovative ability and competitiveness of the nation. Therefore, to invigorate education is the objective and pressing demand of socialist modernization and national revival as well as a move to accommodate the needs of the time.

2. Quality Education in China

The Chinese Government pays a great attention to educational quality. In 1998 the Ministry of Education put forward the Action Scheme for Invigorating Education Towards the 21th Century. The first and most important part is the ”Trans-century EQO (essential-qualities-oriented, called su yhi jiao zu in Chinese) Education Project”. In 1999 the Chinese Government convened the Third National Conference on Education with a view to constantly pushing forward educational reforms enabling education in China to meet the requirements of the new century, and consequently the Decision of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council on Deepening Educational Reform and Promoting EQO Education in a Comprehensive Way was promulgated. These important documents take EQO education as its main theme and map out a comprehensive plan for China’s educational reforms and development.

To implement EQO education means implementing the State’s educational policies in a comprehensive way, with enhancing the quality of its citizens as the fundamental goal, and the fostering of student’s innovative spirit and practical abilities as the priority concerns so as to cultivate builders and successors of the socialist cause who have lofty ideals, moral integrity, general education and sense of discipline and are all-round developed morally, intellectually, physically and aesthetically. To attain the objectives set for implementing EQO education in a comprehensive way, China will carry out educational reform in depth in the following spheres:

In short words, EQO education will be promoted earnestly in all educational sectors so as to improve the quality of the nation and enhance its innovative capacity through implementation of the ”Trans-century EQO Education Project”. We will carry out reforms in curricular and evaluation system so that by the end of 2002 framework and standards of basic education curricula will have taken preliminary shape and progress made in reforming the content and methods of teaching, in promoting a new system of evaluation, in the new service-training of teachers, and in launching experiments on new school curricula. It is envisaged that on the basis of experiments extending over 10 years or so, we will be enabled to implement a new system of basic education curricula and teaching materials for the 21st century throughout the country.