Liu Limin, former vice-minister of education answers questions at a news conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress in Beijing, March 10, 2018.
China will quicken the pace of building more public kindergartens and inclusive private kindergartens to ensure that children can enjoy better and cheaper preschool education, Liu Limin, former vice-minister of education, said on Saturday.[Special coverage]
Currently about 80 percent of the country's preschool children get enrolled in kindergartens, up from 51 percent in 2009. The ministry has set the target of raising the kindergarten enrolment rate to 85 percent and support the opening of more public kindergartens and inclusive ones to ease the demand-and-supply conflict, Liu said at a news conference on the sidelines of the ongoing annual two sessions.
"Central and local governments should continue to increase the financial input, build cost-sharing system and set up fees standard in preschool education," said Liu, also a national political adviser.
More efforts are needed to increase the training of teachers and raise their salary, too. The threshold for kindergarten teachers should also be raised, Liu said.
"The country should also accelerate the legislative process in preschool education to clarify the responsibility of different levels of government in developing the sector," he said.
Supervision in preschool education requires concerted efforts in improving personnel, facility and technology in kindergartens, while parents should also participate in the decision-making of kindergartens through parent committees, he added.
China has seen the exposure of suspected children abuse cases in kindergartens in the past few months.
In one of the widely reported cases, a female teacher surnamed Liu from the RYB Education New World Kindergarten in Beijing was arrested in December, after the procuratorate accused her of using sewing needles to "discipline" children who would not sleep.
Following the incident, the Ministry of Education said it has begun research on legislation for pre-school education to provide a legal guarantee of the operation and management standards of such institutions.