Cap­i­tal’s new sub­cen­ter to be given ed­u­ca­tion boost

Branch cam­puses will help to close cur­rent teach­ing ‘qual­ity gap’ in Tongzhou, say of­fi­cials

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By DU JUAN and LIANG SHUANG

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.

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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.

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