Is Early Childhood Education Workforce Ready for a Big Jump in Enrolment?

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1 Fourth International Conference on Poverty Reduction and Child Development ARNEC s 2015 Asia-Pacific Regional ECD Conference Venue 3: Building capacity of ECD workforce for quality and Inclusive ECD Is Early Childhood Education Workforce Ready for a Big Jump in Enrolment? Minyi Li, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Institute of Early Childhood Education Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University

2 ECE in China Early childhood education, or pre-primary education (ISCED 0), refers to early childhood programmes that have an intentional education component. ISCED level 0 programmes target children below the age of entry into primary education (ISCED level 1). These programmes aim to develop cognitive, physical and socio-emotional skills necessary for participation in school and society (OECD, EU & UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015). In mainland China, the term kindergarten typically refers to full-day programs for Children at 3 to 5 years old. These programs usually provide child care and help children prepare for formal schooling. In rural areas there are some one-year pre-primary classrooms in elementary schools serving children in the year prior to first grade.

3 Outline Early childhood education workforce in a national agenda for a transformative era Contexts of early childhood workforce in China Trend analysis Ways forward

4 National Agenda Outline of China s National Plan for Medium and Long-term Education Reform and Development ( ) State Council s Opinions on Current Development of Pre-primary Education Nationally children in pre-primary institutions reached million in 2014, and the gross enrolment rate (GER) of pre-primary education has increased from 35 percent in 2000 to 70.5 percent in 2014 (Ministry of Education, ). However, in terms of universal pre-primary education with enough qualified kindergarten teachers, it is still one of the most challenging problems for the government.

5 One China, three worlds Physical map of China Poverty density

6 One China, three worlds

7

8 Context of pre-primary education workforce Teachers in demand in terms of quantity and quality Larger pupil-to-teacher ratio: 17:1 nationally, but it is 9.5:1 in the cities, 19:1 in county towns, 34:1 in rural areas, and even worse in the most disadvantaged areas, such as in Ningxia and Guizhou (World Bank, 2011) Lower teacher quality:only percent of kindergarten principals and full-time teachers have a bachelor degree (Li, Deng, & Liu, 2015).

9 Rural VS Urban

10 Date Issued by Titles Key policy documents June 30, 2010 Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance National Teacher Training Program for Primary and Secondary Schools July 29, 2010 State Council Outline of China s National Plan for Medium and Long-term Education Reform and Development ( ) November 24, 2010 State Council State Council s Opinions on Current Development of Preprimary Education March 23, 2011 Ministry of Education Setting up a Leading Team to Promote Three-year Action Plan for Pre-primary Education October 8, 2011 Ministry of Education Curriculum Standards for Teacher Education February 10, Ministry of Education Professional Standards for Kindergarten Teachers 2012 October 15, 2012 Ministry of Education Early Learning and Developments Guideline for Children Aged 3-6 January 23, 2013 Ministry of Education Standards for Staff-to-child Ratios in Kindergartens November 3, 2014 Ministry of Education, National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Finance Opinions on Implementing the Second-round Three-year Action Plan for Pre-primary Education January 10, 2015 Ministry of Education Professional Standards for Kindergarten Directors January 15, 2015 State Council National Child Development Plan for Poverty-Stricken Areas

11 The key one Types of Programs Staff-to-child ratios Educational staff-tochild ratios Full-day 1:5 to 1:7 1:7 to 1:9 Half-day 1:8 to 1:10 1:11 to 1:13 Source: Ministry of Education ( ). Standards for Staff-to-child Ratios in Kindergartens (trail){ 幼 儿 园 员 教 职 工 配 备 标 准 ( 试 行 )}. Retrieved from the Website of the central government of the People s Republic of China:

12 Trend Analysis The rising number of teacher workforce, but unbalanced Lower educational and professional qualifications Left-behind pre-service training institutions Challenges by new teacher license and registration system

13 ECE workforce in China, Principals teachers on-site doctors

14 Percentage of kindergarten teachers, by urban/rural cities townships villages % 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

15 Pupil-to-teacher ratio Year Children at Full-time Pupil-toteacher kindergartens teachers ratio ,766,695 1,144, : ,245,000 1,315, : ,858,000 1,479, : ,946,903 1,663, : ,507,145 1,844, :1

16 Teacher quality In 2013, among the 1.66 million kindergarten teachers, 1.02 million work in private kindergartens. Only percent of teachers have bachelor degrees and percent have 2 or 3-year college diplomas in 2012, while the number was percent and percent respectively in Compared to developed countries, China has a relatively low entry requirement for teachers. For example, the entry-level education for preschool teachers is associated degree and that for kindergarten and primary teachers is a bachelor degree in the United States and most developed

17 Teacher quality educational backgrounds of kindergarten principals, postundergrad uate a bachelor degree an associate degree high school diploma % 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% less than a high school diploma

18 Teacher quality educational backgrounds of kindergarten teachers, postundergra duate 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% a bachelor degree an associate degree high school diploma less than a high school diploma

19 Teachers qualifications Master Teachers Seniorgrade Firstgrade Secondgrade Thirdgrade Without qualification , , ,093 59,858 11, , , , ,706 61,376 14, , , , ,767 61,463 12,361 1,030,242

20 4000 Numbers of Training Institutions with Pre-primary education Major, by Level, Sepecial upper secondary or vocational schools Two or three-year colleges Four-year colleges or universities

21 0% 16% Percentage of secondary institutions of early childhood teacher education, by type, % 13% 16% 2% 7% 3% 4% 39% regular higher education institutions adult higher education institutions adjusted secondary vocational schools secondary technical schools secondary normal schools

22 Higher enrollment VS lower employment less than one third graduates from the traditonal training institutions could get a job in basic education. A quarter of the new teachers comes from comprehensive universities other than traditonal training institutions (MOE, 2015). The minstry of education has proposed to ajust teacher education by compressing the scale and upgrading the traing level. An associate degree is likely to an entry-level for teacher profession in the near future (MOE, 2015).

23 New teacher license and registration system Ministry of Education has opened the door for higher education to provide teacher preparation programs in comprehensive universities, besides traditional normal colleges and universities, in 1998, which led to a mandated national teacher licensure system in Until 2011, the ministry of education has started to have a pilot reform in Zhejiang and Hubei and explored a new system for teacher licensure. Since 2013, the ministry of education has initiated national pilot reforms in teacher license exams and periodic registration in ten provinces as follows: Hebei, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Hubei, Guangxi, Hainan, Shanxi, Anhui, Shandong and Guizhou. In 2015, these reforms have spread out over 28 provinces, municipalities directly under the central government and autonomous regions.

24 New teacher license and registration system Ministry of Education has opened the door for higher education to provide teacher preparation programs in comprehensive universities, besides traditional normal colleges and universities, in 1998, which led to a mandated national teacher licensure system in Until 2011, the ministry of education has started to have a pilot reform in Zhejiang and Hubei and explored a new system for teacher licensure. Since 2013, the ministry of education has initiated national pilot reforms in teacher license exams and periodic registration in ten provinces as follows: Hebei, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Hubei, Guangxi, Hainan, Shanxi, Anhui, Shandong and Guizhou. In 2015, these reforms have spread out over 28 provinces, municipalities directly under the central government and autonomous regions.

25 How to get a license Teachers must be certified, which requires two additional steps. First, they must pass the National Teacher License Exams, including two courses for kindergarten teachers, Comprehensive Assessment and Test for Knowledge and Competence about Care and Education; afterwards, they must take provincial-level oral examinations in the areas of pedagogy, psychology, teaching methods, and teaching ability. Candidates must demonstrate teaching abilities such as classroom management as part of this examination. Senior students who attend a university for teacher education could sign up to take all the exams and apply for a teacher licensure. considering the biggest portion of student teachers from upper secondary education, the poor passing rates of national teacher license exams have attracted great concerns and urged the ministry of education and provincial education examination authorities to rethink the further steps.

26 How to register Periodic registration system has specials requirements for licensees annual assessment and continuing education. Licensees have to registries every five years and they need to participate in PD activities and get at least 360 credit hours or the equivalents mandated by central government and local governments in every renewal cycle.

27 Ways forward Firstly, the government needs to scale up the workforce and recruits high-quality teacher with decent salary and competitive benefits. As a marginalized profession, even kindergarten teachers in the government-run sector did not get the equivalent amount of income as the primary school teachers. Salaries of pre-primary educators in the public sector in some Nordic countries, such as Denmark and Norway, are of percent of primary school teachers salaries (ILO, 2012).

28 Secondly, the allocations and distributions of pre-primary resources failed to satisfy the demands in the poor, remote, rural, or ethnic minority areas. At the same time, urbanization has brought new challenges. Migrant workers and left-behind children should be included into the policy framework. Thirdly, the pre-service training system should be upgraded to match with the reform of certification examinations. The Ministry of Education needs to enlarge the enrolment for college diploma and bachelor degree, rather than a disorder expansion of upper secondary and vocational schools. Fourthly, the government and training institutions need to have a more comprehensive approach to the integration of education and care.

29 THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME Q & A

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