Wang Ziyu, a mathematics teacher at Qingdao No 61 Middle School, has put into place a new student-centered teaching method encouraging his kids get more engaged in their education through discussions and group work, and so far the new way of teaching has achieved good results.

In his classes, Wang spends 20 minutes teaching and then gives the rest of the time over to the students for them to ask questions and to apply what they have just learned individually and in group work. This is quite different from the traditional teaching method of learning by rote.

Hou Shanjie, a class supervisor of Qingdao No 49 Middle School, said love is the foundation of education and cultivating talent should be the primary responsibility of a class supervisor.

Caring about not only students’ school record, but also their thoughts and life, Hou is committed to helping students grow up healthily and find their confidence and dignity.

Teachers like Wang and Hou can be found in many schools in Licang district of Qingdao, Shandong province, owing to the district’s efforts in improving the quality of its education.

Sticking to the principles of a fair allocation of educational resources and providing every student with equal access to education, Licang district has built up a highly qualified teaching team, according to the district government.

In 2019 so far, Licang district has recruited a total of 215 primary and secondary school teachers, in an effort to further expand its teaching workforce.

The district has selected 70 teachers from its primary and secondary schools and kindergartens to take part in a three-to-five-year training course to further their abilities.

The 70 teachers will have the chance to study in countries including the United Kingdom and Finland.

Licang district encourages all of the principals of primary and secondary schools to lead lessons, as well as organize and evaluate the teaching.

The district has invited a raft of professionals and scholars to instruct principals in terms of curriculum arrangements and teaching methods. The educational specialists include notable scholars at the Tianjin Institute of Education Science and a representative of the American Education Federation in China.

Meanwhile, the district has made achievements in strengthening education supervision and evaluation. It has organized education quality monitoring for its 73 kindergartens and 39 elementary and secondary schools this year. The district also established a long-term standardized mechanism for running schools, according to the local government.

To promote its overall education quality, Licang district has stepped up efforts to help its schools communicate with prestigious schools domestically. The aim is for them to learn advanced educational philosophy, as well as introduce quality educational resources.

For instance, by collaborating with Qingdao No 2 Middle School, a key middle school of Shandong province, Licang district founded an affiliated school, which offers primary and secondary education.

To explore more learning opportunities for its students, the affiliated school has forged regular exchanges with Beihang University and the Qingdao Wealth Management Institute of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.

By establishing an education research group, the district has compiled five educational study briefs on education in Japan as well as some European and American countries. They hope to learn, understand and promote the success, experience and practices of developed countries in basic education.

In addition, Licang district is paying attention to developing characteristic education, aiming to strike a balance between enhancing liberal education and developing students’ interests.

The district is to popularize table tennis in grade 2, choral singing in grade 3, swimming in grade 4 and instrumental music in grade 5 of all its primary schools.

The district has also made achievements in promoting preschool education.

There are 32 public-service early education guidance centers, which have offered early education courses to 3,414 infants of 2-3 years old.

The early education centers in the district have held seven public benefit lectures, which have involved more than 2,000 families.

Safety issues related to students, including campus safety, personal safety and food safety, are also the priorities of the local government of Licang.

To guarantee students’ safety, 37 elementary schools in Licang district offer after-school care services. More than 10,000 students take advantage of the services.

The elementary schools implement strict working mechanisms to ensure the safe delivery of each student to his or her parents, the local government said.

The district has worked on enhancing the safety training of teachers and school staff members, as well as strengthening the construction of part-time and full-time emergency teams in schools.

Currently, each school in Licang has established a full-time or part-time emergency rescue team, which consists of no less than eight people.

Meanwhile, each kindergarten, primary and secondary school in Licang has its own full-time campus security personnel.

To make sure students can enjoy safe food, the district sped up the establishment of standardized canteens in schools. Five standardized student canteens have been built this year.

To allow more people to understand the latest information and trends of the district, Licang is taking full advantage of newspapers, television stations and new media platforms to publicize information covering enrollment, quality of classes and educational achievements.

 Innovative teaching methods to breathe new life into education system

Clockwise from top left: Children play in the playground of a kindergarten in Licang district, Qingdao. Provided to China Daily Two boys cheer on friends from the sidelines of a soccer match. Yu Xuehui / For China Daily The district uses advanced teaching methods in middle and primary school classes. Provided to China Daily A campus soccer competition is held in Licang this year. Provided to China Daily

(China Daily 12/03/2019 page12)

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