The Jack Ma Foundation has pledged to spend at least 300 million yuan ($45 million) in the next decade to staff rural schools with qualified teachers.

The foundation unveiled on Monday its Jack Ma Rural Pre-Service Teacher Initiative, which aims to draw graduates from normal universities to countryside schools on a five-year program.

This is the foundation’s third initiative supporting rural education development.

For the first phase, starting Jan 21, the foundation said it will cooperate with universities in Hunan, Sichuan and Jilin provinces as well as Chongqing, and channel 100 graduates to villages in the four regions.

Each successful applicant will receive 100,000 yuan in addition to their salary, it said.

To encourage program fellows to stay in rural schools, the foundation has pledged to provide online and offline refresher courses, and allocate mentors to advise on teaching and career development.

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