Capital’s new subcenter to be given education boost
Branch campuses will help to close current teaching ‘quality gap’ in Tongzhou, say officials
Up to 10 new schools are set to open in Beijing’s Tongzhou district as the capital works on improving the level of state education in the area.
Last year, the municipal government formally announced plans to gradually relocate some of its functions to Tongzhou, part of a move designed to develop the district as a new subcenter of Beijing.
Liu Yuhui, director of the city’s education commission, said the new schools would be branch campuses of other schools in the capital and were opening as a result of cooperation and an agreement to share teaching resources with the four middle schools already in the area, including the top-ranked High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China.
New guidance and policies have been put in place to support the area’s teachers, with the authority planning to give them pay rises and promotions, Liu said.
A monthly allowance of up to 4,000 yuan ($580) will be paid to teachers in Tongzhou, which he said would do much to raise the average level of pay in the area.
“Apart from introducing top-tier education resources, Tongzhou will also benefit neighboring counties in Hebei,” Liu said.
Yang Bin, head of Tongzhou district, said the opening of new branch campuses will represent a move toward closing the “education quality gap” in the area, adding that standards were “catching up with the main campuses”.
Enrollment in one school, which recently became affiliated with the Beijing Institute of Technology, has already surged from near the bottom of the local league tables to third from top.
Other efforts being made to redevelop the district as a new subcenter of the capital include relocating residents living in outdated housing.
In just 19 days, more than 2,000 households in a dilapidated area of Tongzhou signed compensation deals on demolition and relocation, Yang said.
“Credit for this must go to the recent reforms on working methods,” he said. “More specifically, it’s come about as a result of total transparency and the fact that officials have resided in the affected village to answer any questions.”
Yang said displaced villagers will be relocated to newly built flats. Those who signed the compensation deal earliest get the first choice of accommodation, but the village cadres will have to pick last.
“All the information is listed on notice boards, which reduces any doubts that people may have, hence the speed of the process,” Yang said.
Wang Defu, a 74-year-old from Sungezhuang village, told the Tongzhou Express that he was “quite satisfied with the compensation”.
“Frankly, most of us have been waiting for this for a while,” he said.
“The disorderly rural condition of the village has played a poor role in our lives, and we expect to live better in the new apartments.”
Soon, demolition work will begin to make way for the capital’s new urban subcenter, which will be an “exemplary zone of energy-saving buildings”, according to Wang Cheng jun, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. “All municipal administrative buildings inside the zone will reach the two-star level of green buildings, with 70 percent of them being the top three-star level ones,” said Ye Jia, an official from the city’s urban planning division.
Green buildings are eco-friendly constructions, which incorporate energy-efficient features such as solar power, water recycling and prefabricated construction, Ye added.
Contact the writers at dujuan @chinadaily.com.cn
Workers build the frame of a underground pillar for the first transformer substation, which will support the development of Tongzhou district as the new subcenter of Beijing.