Education In Chengdu
Chengdu has a long tradition to honor education and innovation. Back to 2150 years ago, the Prefecture Chief of Shu, Wen Weng established a school in Shishi, the first endeavor to build a school by a local government in Chinese history.Today, education is substantially popularized in the city. In 2016, Chengdu had 2170 preschools admitting 491,000 children, and the enrollment rate for children from 3 to 5 reached 99.1%. The city boasts 1020 schools for compulsory education with registered students of 1.156 million. Enrollment rate for children of primary school age amounts to 100% and for junior middle school students 99.9%. Chengdu has 133 Senior high schools which enroll 221,000 students and 90 vocational schools with 242,000 students.
In recent years, Chengdu persists in the promotion of education equality with full coverage of the whole city area and great achievements have been made. It was named the Advanced City Nationwide in the Promotion of Balanced Development in Education and designated as the first Pilot City of the Comprehensive Reform of Education System in Both the Urban and Rural Areas, which was recognized and supported by the authorities at the ministerial, provincial and municipal levels. It is also among the first group appointed as the pilot city for ICT development by the Ministry of Education. At present, campus internet is available in all the primary and middle schools. The coverage rate of multi-media equipment in classrooms is 1.7:1; the ratio between the number of teachers and that of computers is 1.4:1; and the ratio between the number of students and that of computers is 12:1. The municipal government encourages the application of ICT to promote spread of quality educational resources in both rural and urban areas and establish a full-coverage system of internet service in both compulsory education and high schools. In September 2013, the city passed the assessment by the State Supervision and Inspection Team, indicating the 19 districts (sub-cities) in Chengdu had substantially achieved the targets set for the balanced development of education. Chengdu therefore became the first city nationwide to achieve a balanced education at the county level. Therefore, the People's Daily reported the news on its front page and highly praised Chengdu's achievements.
To grasp the opportunities and meet the challenges of building the city into a center for opening up and an international metropolis, Chengdu has developed the strategy of education internationalization while guaranteeing educational equity and quality. The strategy sets the schools to play the major role, the county governments to lead the reform and the municipal government to guide the process. In the future, the city aims to accomplish internationalization in school management, teaching resources, teacher and student exchanges and visits, educational cooperation and education assessment. Educational reform would be the top agenda and achievements are to be made through internationalization.
Chengdu is the country's first city to map out standards on assessing the regional development in educational internationalization, and to make a special development plan for promoting educational internationalization from 2013 to 2020. The city has set up a scholarship to encourage overseas students from sister cities to come to study.
From 2013, the municipal government has endorsed an annual grant worth 5 million yuan to fund the scholarship, as well as appropriating 2 million yuan to the US student visiting scholarship. Another two million goes to city level training programs on education internationalization and some schools get funding totaling 2 million for their facility upgrading. The government also gives green light to funding on teacher training programs abroad. The budget is not restricted to the limit set for overseas tours for official purposes. Statistics show that the number of inbound and outbound visits by teachers and students is 50,000 person-times from 2012 to 2014. These figures show the city is expanding the opening up in the education sector. The People's Daily and the China Daily have carried reports on Chengdu's achievements in education internationalization.
Since 2013, Chengdu has welcomed several heads of state, including the British Prime Minister David Cameron, the US first lady Michelle Obama and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They visited schools such as the Chengdu Longjianglu Primary Sub-School, the Chengdu No.7 High School and the Affiliated Primary School of the Jinjiang District Teacher Training School. They talked with teachers, students and parents in those schools and praised the achievements made by local schools. Education in Chengdu has become a signature of the city and will pioneer the city's development toward internationalization in the future.