Targeted investment improves quality of education
The Weifang Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone has introduced a range of measures to ensure high-quality education as part of its efforts to enhance local residents’ quality of life.
Oversized classes have long been a problem constraining education quality enhancement in the zone. The zone has invested 898 million yuan ($132 million) to expand or upgrade eight primary and high schools to reduce class sizes.
The zone announced that the number of students per class will be reduced in the 2017 autumn semester, as required by the Shandong government. According to standards set by the Shandong government, primary schools’ class size will be reduced to less than 45 students and high schools’ class size will be reduced to less than 50 students.
The zone also plans to promote the concept of smallsize classes to provide higher quality education services to students in the coming years. The size of classes will be less than 40 students. The zone plans to invest 3 billion yuan into building and expanding 12 schools to achieve this goal. The number of school seats in the zone will double by 2020.
Local authorities have also put for ward measures to upgrade the pre-school education system to better serve residents’ evolving demands.
Twenty-three kindergarten upgrade projects covering five areas have been launched since June this year to provide premium pre-school services. Fifteen government-funded kindergartens will be built to meet people’s education demands. The zone government plans to provide subsi- dies to company and institution-funded kindergartens, as well as privately operated kindergartens that target all families in the zone.
In the future, kindergartens will not only have more space but also have more well-trained teachers.
The upgraded Dongming Kindergarten, which opened its doors in October 2015, has 56 teachers, up from 38 in 2014. There are 15 classes in the kindergarten, up from 11 in 2014. The kindergarten has been equipped with a library, multimedia classrooms and an art gallery to serve children’s varying interests.
Dongming Kindergarten hosted a basketball tournament on June 15 on its own playground. The kindergarten had to share a playground with another school before 2015.
The zone, known for its innovation and high-tech industries, has set a goal to foster century-old schools to support its long-term development. The zone applies high standards in school planning, construction and supporting facilities’ development processes.
Weifang Hansheng International School, which will be put into use in September, invited architects from China’s leading architectural design institutions such as the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design to give suggestions about how to better use the space.
A teacher with Weifang Hi-tech Zone’s New Epoch School gives an English class to students in the Weifang Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone.