HomeEducation and ExchangeBoosting Quality Education: A New Model for Counties

Boosting Quality Education: A New Model for Counties

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Jiayang Wang

To establish a modern socialist nation comprehensively, prioritizing high-quality development is essential. This concept suggests that for a significant period ahead, all sectors, including education, will focus on fostering high-quality growth. The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China explicitly called for the acceleration of building a high-quality education system. Basic education is pivotal, playing a leading, comprehensive, and foundational role within the entire educational framework. It is non-discriminatory across regions, ethnicities, or social classes, and it sets the stage for lifelong development for all citizens, serving as a nursery for nurturing talent.

The county, as the fundamental administrative unit in China, acts as a crucial intermediary between central and local governments, primarily functioning in information dissemination. Owing to its autonomy and proactivity, numerous studies have concentrated on the county level. Consequently, it is recommended to develop a new model of high-quality basic education driven by new productive forces within the county.

While participating in the discussions of the Jiangsu delegation, General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized the importance of adhering to the primary goal of high-quality development and fostering new quality productivity tailored to local conditions. He later elaborated that it is crucial to selectively advance the growth of new industries, new models, and new drivers, and to modernize traditional industries through the adoption of new technologies.

This indicates that the hallmark of new quality productivity is innovation, with an emphasis on quality, and it should effectively exhibit strong driving and supporting roles in fostering high-quality development in practice. The new productive forces play a crucial role in steering the reform and innovation of county-level basic education and bolstering its high-quality development.

China’s current basic education system still faces a shortage of high-quality resources, significant disparities between urban and rural areas, and schools, and struggles to fully satisfy the public’s demand for “good education”. In the context of firmly focusing on the primary task of high-quality development across various educational levels and types, accelerating the growth of new productive forces and actively establishing a new model for high-quality development in basic education has emerged as a novel approach to addressing the challenges at the county level.

The following are specific recommendations on how to develop new quality production and establish a new model of high-quality development for county-level basic education.

Firstly, “Seek truth from facts” and define the scope and meaning of new quality productive forces. General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized during his participation in the Jiangsu delegation’s discussion at the second session of the 14th National People’s Congress, that developing new quality productivity should be adapted to local conditions. He noted that it is essential to deepen the reform of the education system among other reforms to eliminate the bottlenecks hindering the development of new quality productive forces.

To cultivate new quality productive forces tailored to local conditions, it is crucial to address three fundamental questions: “What constitutes the new quality productive force in county-level basic education? Why is it essential to develop this new quality productive force at the county level? How can this new quality productive force be developed in county-level education?”.

New quality productivity acts as a robust driving and supporting force, proven effective in fostering high-quality development through practical application. Thus, it is vital to systematically identify and analyze the factors that have demonstrated significant driving and supporting effects in the reform and development of county-level basic education. Additionally, it is important to delve into the essence and breadth of these factors and their successful applications in practice to understand the intrinsic demands and focal points for cultivating new quality productive forces in county-level basic education to promote high-quality development. By analyzing and implementing specific requirements, a new model of high-quality development can be established.

Secondly, adapt to local conditions and foster new quality productive forces through categorization, stratification, and differentiation of problems. The development of new quality productive forces does not imply the complete neglect or abandonment of traditional industries. Instead, it involves embracing reality, establishing before breaking, tailoring strategies to local conditions, and providing categorized guidance. It is crucial to avoid haste and superficiality. A uniform, one-size-fits-all approach should not be adopted. Therefore, the high-quality development of basic education should consider the county as the unit of analysis, conducting thorough assessments of the existing conditions and needs of each county.

Based on the local educational resources, environment, and challenges, it is vital to explore new productive forces that can empower and foster the creation of new models and mechanisms, and promote the transformation and upgrading of the traditional education sector using new technologies.

Thirdly, seize opportunities and firmly grasp the historic opportunities presented by the transformation of information technology. Employing educational informatization to drive the modernization of education represents a strategic choice to advance the reform and development of China’s education sector and is a crucial aspect of comprehensive deep reforms in education. This approach has gained widespread agreement as a foundational principle in the development of education in China.

It is evident that educational informatization acts as a new catalyst for stimulating the development of new quality productive forces in education. Therefore, it is essential to enhance the exploration of educational informatization. This involves determining how to utilize modern audio-visual technology, virtual simulation, artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, and “Internet plus” among other emerging information technologies. The focus should be on addressing the weak points in the development of basic education at the county level, achieving technological empowerment to transform education and teaching, and effectively promoting the comprehensive and deep integration of information technology with education and teaching. This integration is aimed at establishing a new model of high-quality development for basic education at the county level.

Lastly, return to simplicity and the essence of education and teaching. Education consists of a dual-cycle system comprising interactions between internal and external systems. The internal system is centered on human development, whereas the external system primarily provides resources. From the perspective of the internal system of education, the new quality productive forces aim to unlock students’ potential, foster learners’ ability to develop freely and comprehensively, and ensure students receive the education best suited to them.

As President Zheng Qinghua of Tongji University stated, the fundamental goal of education is to guide individuals towards goodness, enhance human civilization and scientific literacy, and encourage the continuous pursuit of scientific truth.

In conclusion, to accelerate the development of new quality productive forces and establish a new model of high-quality development for county-level basic education, we must revert to the original purpose and essence of education, truly enhancing the quality of growth for those educated.

*The author is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Teacher Education, Honghe University, P.R. China. 

**The opinions in this article are the author’s own and may not represent the views of The Diplomatic Insight. The organization does not endorse or assume responsibility for the content.

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