The homeland of peacocks

In the west of Yunnan Province China, there is a beautiful piece of land, which is named Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture.



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       Before liberation, due to the discriminate policy of the China inland ruling class against the minority nationalities in the frontiers, the development for culture and education in Dehong lagged behind. In 1949, there existed no high school in Dehong area; there were only 152 elementary schools with 5170 students and 208 teachers in Dehong, among which eight were church schools with 334 students, four were old-style private schools with 90 students. Up till 1952, the time when Dehong Prefecture was established, there had been only 144 public primary schools with 7116 students and 330 faculty,2 junior middle schools with 78 students and 13 faculty at school.

  After the establishing of Dehong Prefecture in 1953, education met its great developments, particularly after the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Party Central Committee in 1978; education, scheduled as the priority for developing, made continued and all round progress. Up till 1992,in Dehong Prefecture, there had been 30 kindergartens with 9284 infants and 314 faculty at school, 1260 elementary schools with 12,570,000 students and 5652 faculty, 70 general high schools with 33480 students and 2883 faculty, 11 agricultural vocation middle schools (among which eight were senior high schools, 3 were junior high schools) with 3289 students, 1 national normal school with 843 students, 5 teachers’ schools for advanced studies at county level; 1 medical school, 1 aggie, 1 finance and trade School, 1 school of farm machinery and 1 vestibule school with 1346 students; for Chinese Communist Party school and school for trainning the minority cadres, there was one for each kind and with 645 students at school; there were 1 college of education and 1 radio and television university with 371 students at school, 54 culture and technical schools for farmers. The expenditures on education, which were 4,730,000 yuan in 1978, increased to 45,810,000 yuan in 1992. The teachers’ number of obtaining senior title and junior title accounted for 11 % of the total teachers’ number. A system of national education network had been set up at different levels and in different terms from the infant school education phase,to the phase of elementary education,the secondary education and the higher education. In 1998, the prefecture had fundamentally reached the goal of eliminating the illiteracy of the young and adults. In 2000, the prefecture government had made the realization of popularizing the nine -year-compulsory education fundamentally.

  Entering the 21st century, with the coming of knowledge economy, “Talent Strategy” and “ Education Foremost” have become the common senses of people. In the Fourth Plenary Session of the Fourth Prefectural Party Committee, the policy of “Earnestly Fulfill the Strategy of Developing the Prefecture through Science, Technology and Education.” was issued. The educational authorities took effort to promote the educational reforms and innovation, focusing on the education in the countryside, consolidating and enhancing the “Two Foundations” achievements, expanding the scale of senior high schools, conforming and optimizing the educational resources and advancing the work for quality education steadily; the quality and efficiency for education were both improved. The prefectural education work made a transformation from concerning educational scale and quantity to educational efficiency. During the period of “The Tenth Five-year Plan”, the prefectural government’s projects for education reforms and the projects to be executed are as follows: Firstly, it is scheduled to conform the resources of the secondary technical schools directly charged by the prefectural educational department. The Prefectural Secondary Normal School and Prefectural Aggie have been merged into Dehong Prefectural College of Education; the merging of the Prefectural School of Finance and Trade, the Prefectural School of Farm Machinery and the Prefectural Vocationl Education Center( includes Vestibule School ) are to be executed. Secondly, the prefectural government is to implement the reconstruction and expansion work of the general high schools and widen their capacities for students; 20,000,000 yuan have been invested to merge the No.1 Prefectural Middle School and the No.2 Prefectural Middle School, 5,000,000 yuan to construct the national bonds project for the senior high school of Yingjiang No1 Middle School, 6,000,000 yuan to rebuild and expand the senior high school of Lianghe No1 Middle School. For Mangshi Middle School, Ruili No1 Middle School and Longchuan No1 Middle School, they also raise money from various sources, improving the conditions of the high schools running and expanding the school running scale. Thirdly, it is to be implement the Reconstruction Projects for the Unsafe Buildings in the Primary, Middle Schools and the Construction Projects of the Bordering Middle Schools. In 2002, Chinese government officially started up the reconstruction projects for the unsafe buildings in primary and middle schools; up to the end of the year 2004 , the prefecture had invested accumulatively a total fund of 382,720,000 yuan for the unsafe buildings in primary and middle schools (of which 12,700,000 yuan was from the state fund, 125,220,000 yuan from the provincial government fund , 21,870,000 yuan from the prefectural government fund, 5,000,000 yuan from the county government fund and 56,820,000 yuan was from other sources) ; 110 primary and middle schools and an area of 77778 ㎡ for the unsafe buildings had been rebuilt. It had been four years since the nation started up the School Construction Projects for Border Regions; 5 high schools had been schemed as the project construction schools in four border counties and cities of the prefecture; 167,550,000 yuan had been successively invested and an new building area of 22740㎡ had been built. Fourthly, it is to carry into execution of the Salvation Project for the Compulsory Education in the Frontier, Minority and the Depressed Areas. In 2004, the number of the primary and middle school students who enjoyed “three exemptions”(exemption from tuition fee , sundry charges and stationery toll ) in the prefecture was 577,742. From 2000 to 2004, there were accumulatively a total number of 17,670,000 primary and middle school students who had received the privilege of “Three Exemptions” education and the accumulative total expenses amounted to 2,916,630,000 yuan. Starting from the spring term of 2005, the “Three Exemptions” education policy have transited to “Two Exemptions and One Complement” (exemption from tuition fee and sundry charges, complementing living expenses) and 84,858 primary and middle school students in the prefecture have enjoyed the preferential policy. Fifthly, it is planned to implement the policy of “Popularizing Laboratory Equipment to Schools” and the Educational Project for Informational Technology. During the period of “The Tenth Five-year Plan”, 19,000,000 yuan had been successively put into popularizing the laboratory teaching work; up to 2004, the work of “Popularizing Laboratory Equipment to Schools” in 3 counties and 2 cities had been checked and accepted by the provincial authorities; 21 sound labs had been set up, 118 satellite signals recepting stations of modern remote education , 502 stations for CD-ROM playing and 23 multimedia classrooms had been set up; 2665 sets of computers had been equipped to the prefectural primary and middle schools and the ratio of the students to the computers reached 72 / 1.

  In the year of 2005, there were 826 schools of national education and they were various in terms and at different levels in the prefectural area, all together there were 20,170,000 students at school; Among these schools, 657 were elementary schools and 129 were teaching spots with 10,880,000 students at school, 60 were general junior high schools and 8 were middle schools with full six grades; there were 57,204 students at the junior high schools and 7478 students at the senior high schools; there were 6 vocational middle schools with 3067 students at school, 4 technical institutes with 1654 students at school, 1 college of education and 1 TV university with 2967 students at school, 81 kindergartens, 328 preschool classes that attached to the elementary schools with 19876 infants at kindergarten and 6 farmers’ culture and technical schools run by independent organized system. In 2005, 2706 examinee registered to participate in the college entrance examination, of whom 2193 were matriculated by the schools above the college level, 217 examinees were admitted into the key universities, 559 examinees into the general undergraduate colleges, 1390 into the technological academies; 2809 people registered to participate in the adult college entrance examination and 5133 subjects for the examination were taken by the examinee, 1865 subjects were up to grade; 7507 graduates from junior high schools in the prefecture attended the entrance examinations for senior high schools and technical secondary schools; 2775 graduates were enrolled in general senior high schools, 1438 graduates were enrolled by vocational senior high schools; 271 graduates were enrolled by technical schools. The prefecture had fundamentally established an system for the elementary education, the adult education, the vocational education, the higher education and the national education, which are adaptable to the economic and social development of Dehong Prefecture and therefore has laid a sound foundation for the prefectural economic and social development. (Translated by Zhang Chengtie)