Brief Account of
Education in the People's Republic of China
With a history of over 5, 000 years, China has a
tradition of respecting teachers and honoring the teaching
profession since ancient times, Ancient Chinese education
not only played a significant role in passing down and
developing Chinese civilization, but also made tremendous
contributions to the civilization of the world. Modern
Chinese education was initiated about one hundred years
ago when the country was undergoing drastic changes
and it 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 people became their own
masters and China entered a new era. From that time
on, Chinese education has stridden to an entirely new
Since 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 education system to enhance people's educational
attainment, 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 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 of “Education
should be oriented towards the modernization drive,
the world and the future” and carries out the policy
of “Education must serve the socialist modernization
drive and must be combined with productive labor in
order to foster builders and successors with all-round
development -- morally, intellectually , physically
and aesthetically--for the socialist cause". Essential-qualities-oriented
(EQO) education should be boosted up so as to foster
a new generation with innovative spirit and practical
ability to meet the challenges of the future.
After half a century's development and reform, Chinese
education has made splendid achievements and will step
forward to the new century with vigor and energy.
Generally , education in China can be divided into
the following stages:
1. Pre-school education for the 3-5 years old children
2.Primary education for 6-11 years old children. Primary
schools are usually run by local educational authorities,
and in some cases, by enterprises and individuals.
3.Secondary school provided to 12-17 years old children.
Education of this kind is conducted by local governments
and various business authorities are classified as secondary
schools or vocational high schools whose graduates hold
the same degree studying as graduates senior middle
schools and sorts of secondary professional schools
whose graduates enjoy some privileges as from colleges.
In particular, public secondary schools include junior
middle schools and senior middle schools, both for three
years of study. Students graduating from junior schools
usually go to common senior middle schools, and parts
of them go to vocational high schools or secondary professional
schools for 3-5 years of studying.
4.Higher education constituted by those for vocational
college students, undergraduates, postgraduates and
doctorial students. Higher education is performed by
universities, colleges, institutes and vocational colleges.
These institutions bear the three major tasks of raising
courses, doing scientific researches and providing social