Since the founding of the Peoples Republic of China 70 years ago, the Chinese nation has witnessed a great leap from standing up, getting rich to becoming strong. Under the leadership of the Party, Chinas educational undertakings have undergone tremendous changes. We should earnestly sum up our valuable experience in the development of educational undertakings, thoroughly implement Comrade Xi Jinpings important conclusion that education is the grand plan of the country and the great plan of the Party, further transform the two grand plans into historical consciousness and responsibility, speed up the construction of a powerful educational country, and continuously train generations of social masters. The righteous builder and successor.
Give priority to education
The Chinese nation has always had a fine tradition of respecting teachers and emphasizing education. For thousands of years, it has been longing for such educational dreams as learning to teach, teaching without classes and teaching according to aptitude. Countless sages have been seeking unremittingly for the continuation of Chinese culture and the cultivation of good talents in managing the world. Since the founding of the Peoples Republic of China 70 years ago, our Party has inherited and developed these fine traditions, given priority to the cause of education, promoted the leap-forward development of the cause of education, and gradually turned these dreams into reality.
Since the founding of New China, our Partys understanding of the role of education has been deepening and sublimating. The strategic position of education in the Partys ruling and rejuvenating the country has been gradually established. The basic, leading and overall position and role of education has become increasingly prominent. In September 1949, the Common Programme of the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference, adopted at the first plenary session of the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference, emphasized that the cultural education of the Peoples Republic of China is new democratic, i.e. national, scientific and popular cultural education, guaranteeing the right to education of the working people and fostering new ones. China is in urgent need of talents. In December 1949, the first National Conference on Education was held to plan and determine the general policy and development blueprint for education. In 1950, Comrade Mao Zedong inscribed on the inaugural issue of Peoples Education: Restoring and developing peoples education is one of the important tasks at present.
In December 1978, the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China made a historic decision to transfer the Partys and state work centers to economic construction and implement reform and opening-up. Faced with the situation that a hundred undertakings are waiting for prosperity and talents are scarce, Comrade Deng Xiaoping pointed out with a very strategic vision that leaders who neglect education are not visionary and immature leaders, and they cannot lead the modernization drive. In the 1990s, our Party reviewed the situation and conformed to the historical trend, making a major historical choice of giving priority to the development of education, the implementation of the strategy of rejuvenating the country through science and education and the strategy of strengthening the country by talents. Comrade Jiang Zemin pointed out that human resource is the first resource and education is the foundation of a centurys plan. Comrade Hu Jintao pointed out that education must always be placed in a strategic position of priority development. Effectively ensure that economic and social development planning gives priority to education development, financial funds give priority to education investment, and public resources give priority to meeting the needs of education and human resources development.
Since the Eighteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Party Central Committee, with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core, has attached great importance to education. It has put forward a series of innovative new concepts, new ideas and new viewpoints around the fundamental question of who to train, how to train and for whom to train. It has systematically answered a series of important questions of direction, overall situation and strategy. It provides a fundamental basis for the development of education. At the National Education Conference held in September 2018, Comrade Xi Jinping delivered an important speech. From the strategic perspective of the overall development of the Party and the state, he systematically summarized the achievements and experiences of Chinas education development, deeply analyzed the new situation and tasks facing the education work, and promoted the modernization of education and strengthened education. The state and the peoples satisfaction with education should be fully deployed, and the important conclusion that education is the grand plan of the country and the party should be put forward. This important assertion puts education in an unprecedented strategic position, closely links education with the future and destiny of the country and the Party, enriches and develops the socialist education theory with Chinese characteristics, and is the action guide for doing a good job of education in the new era.
Chinas Education Achievements Attracted World Attention
70 years of wind and rain, 70 years of spring and autumn. Since the founding of the Peoples Republic of China 70 years ago, under the strong leadership of the Party, China has thoroughly changed its weak educational foundation and backward overall situation, established a complete modern educational system. Chinas education has taken on a new look and achieved remarkable achievements, which has strongly proved the correctness and breadth of the socialist education with Chinese characteristics. It shows the great superiority and vitality of our socialist system.
Chinas overall level of education development leaps to the top of the world. In the early days of the founding of New China, 450 million people, more than 80% of whom were illiterate, enrolled only 20% of school-age children. In 1949, only 117,000 people were enrolled in Higher Education in China. Today, nine-year compulsory education has been fully popularized. In 2018, the net enrollment rate of primary school-age children reached 99.95%, the gross enrollment rate of preschool education reached 81.7%, the gross enrollment rate of senior high school reached 88.8%, and the gross enrollment rate of higher education reached 48.1%. The popularization of education at all levels reached or exceeded the average level of middle and high income countries. The national investment in education has been increasing. Since 2012, the national financial education expenditure has reached the target of 4% of GDP and maintained continuous growth. At the same time, the international influence of Chinas education has been increasing. From the excellent performance of PISA to becoming a full member of the Washington Agreement on International Mutual Recognition of Undergraduate Engineering Education, the international community has paid more and more attention to Chinas education.
To train generations of socialist builders and successors. Over the past 70 years, the Partys educational policy has always adhered to the principle of moral education as the first priority, always putting the firm and correct political orientation in the first place in running schools. According to the historical background and tasks of different periods and the ideological situation of adolescents in different periods, it has been strengthening ideological and political education, guiding adolescents to firm their ideals and beliefs and fostering patriotism. Huai and other aspects have carried out a lot of in-depth and meticulous exploration and practice, and trained generations after generations to listen to the Partys words, follow the Party, take root in the people, contribute to the motherlands socialist builders and successors. In March this year, Comrade Xi Jinping hosted a symposium for teachers of Ideological and political theory in schools, emphasizing that to run socialism education with Chinese characteristics, we need to open up ideological and political courses rationally and vigorously, and cultivate people with the spirit of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. At present, teenagers and students are constantly strengthening the lofty ideal of communism and the common ideal of socialism with Chinese characteristics, promoting and practicing the core values of socialism, and making the mainstream of Ideological and political situation positive and healthy.
To provide strong talent and intellectual support for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Under the strong leadership of our Party and through the unremitting struggle of several generations of educators, the ideological and moral qualities and scientific and cultural qualities of all the people have been improved in an all-round way, which provides powerful talents and intellectual support for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. We have spent more than 20 years on the road of popularization of compulsory education in developed countries for hundreds of years, and in more than ten years we have achieved the rapid development of higher education from popularization to popularization. In 2018, the average length of education of the working-age population in China reached 10.6 years, and the proportion of newly-added labor force receiving higher education exceeded 48%, and the average length of education reached more than 13.6 years, which was higher than the world average. Hundreds of millions of people have realized their desire to perfect themselves, change their destiny and create a better life through education. The sense of attainment, happiness and security of the people has been constantly increasing. All this is based on the situation that most people were illiterate and semi-illiterate 70 years ago, and is based on the greatest national condition of the primary stage of socialism.
Increasing the Consciousness and Steadfastness of Implementing the Two Great Strategies
Comrade Xi Jinpings important assertion that education is the grand plan of the country and the great plan of the Party is a profound summary of the experience of educational reform and development in the past 70 years in New China. It is a theoretical achievement that has been sublimated step by step from successful practice and must always be firmly adhered to. In the new era, we must adhere to the guiding ideology of socialism with Chinese characteristics in Xi Jinpings new era, strengthen four consciousness, firm four self-confidence, achieve two safeguards and fully implement Comrade Xi Jinpings important expositions on education and national education. The spirit of the Congress transforms the two major plans into historical consciousness and responsibility, into policy measures and lively practice of accelerating the modernization of education and building a strong educational country, and makes new and greater contributions to the realization of the goal of two hundred years and the realization of the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Deeply understanding that strengthening the Partys overall leadership over education is the fundamental guarantee for running education well. The more important the cause is, the more important the direction is. The orientation of education has always been the first issue. The most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the greatest advantage of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and the Party is the highest political leadership. Strengthening the Partys overall leadership over education is related to the nature of education and the success or failure of education. We must fully implement the Partys educational policy, adhere to the guiding position of Marxism, run ideological and political work through the whole process of education, and always adhere to the Partys overall leadership of education.
Deep understanding of education is an important cornerstone of national rejuvenation and social progress. To achieve independence, prosperity and strength, a country and a nation must have a prosperous economy, a prosperous culture and a strong national defense, all of which depend on education to lay the foundation. Education and human society are all along, inheriting civilization and knowledge, cohesing peoples hearts, perfecting personality, developing manpower, cultivating talents and benefiting the people. It is a moral and political project that is of great benefit to the present age and has decisive significance for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. We must regard building a strong educational country as the basic project for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and give priority to the cause of education.
Deep understanding of education is the fundamental to improve peoples comprehensive quality and promote peoples all-round development. The core of modernization is human modernization. To turn folklore into custom, it must be learned. Classroom and school are the basic places and education is the fundamental way to shape soul, life and new people. We should adhere to the people-centered development idea, let all the people enjoy a better and more equitable education, and strive to make every person have a splendid opportunity to develop themselves, contribute to society and benefit the people.
It is the fundamental task of education to have a deep understanding of moral character and cultivate people. What kind of person to train is the primary issue of education. Any society in any country that maintains political domination and social stability must be educated. China is a socialist country led by the Communist Party of China. We must train socialist builders and successors with all-round development of morality, intelligence, physical fitness, beauty and labor, and train useful talents who support the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the socialist system with Chinese characteristics from generation to generation and aspire to struggle for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics for life.
It is an important mission of education to deeply understand and serve the overall situation of the Party and the country. National rejuvenation of science and education, science and education rejuvenate the country. Education must be subordinate to and serve the overall situation of economic and social development and the central work of the Party and the state in a certain historical period. We should stick to taking root in Chinas education and focus on what we are doing to provide strong talents and intellectual support for socialist modernization.
(The author is secretary and Minister of the Party Group of the Ministry of Education)