Chinese premier commends nation's teachers
Updated: 2015-09-09 06:38
Premier Li Keqiang applauds some of China's top teachers in Beijing on Tuesday, two days ahead of Teachers' Day. Public spending on education will continue to rise, even though the government is on a tight budget, Li said. Teachers' Day, introduced in 1985, falls on Sept 10 and is an opportunity for students to thank their teachers with gifts and cards. [Photo by Wu Zhiyi/China Daily]
BEIJING - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang commended Tuesday the country's 15 million teachers for their contribution to China's development, two days ahead of the National Teachers' Day.
In a meeting with model urban and rural teachers, Li said China's advancement in all economic and social sectors were in part thanks to teachers' hard work.
The premier urged teachers to continue helping turn China's rich human resources into "talent bonuses," encouraging innovation and creation and helping promote social justice.
He also commended the selfless dedication of rural teachers while promising more government support to provide greater rewards as well as personal elevation for those who choose to work in the countryside.
Governments and Party committees at all levels must not cut back on financial support for education, Li said, adding that reforms in the education sector must be deepened.
No education cost cutting, pledges Premier
Expenditure on education will keep increasing even though the government is on tight budget, Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday.
"The country's fiscal revenue is not quite sufficient but education must be our top priority no matter how difficult it is. Education expenses can only be increased rather than slashed," he said.
The premier made his remarks while addressing outstanding teachers two days ahead of Teachers' Day, which has fallen on Sept 10 annually since 1985. The teachers, many from poverty-stricken areas in remote regions, were invited to visit Zhongnanhai, the central government's compound.
On behalf of the Communist Party of China Central Committee as well as the central government, Li expressed gratitude to the country's 15 million teachers, who "have upheld the world's biggest education system".
Mentioning that he used to be a teacher, Li said education is a century project for a country's development. Li used to work as secretary of the Chinese Communist Youth League of Peking University from 1982-83.
"We should give more respect to those teachers who stick to their position, especially to those who work in poor and rural areas, because we want development of the whole country and to achieve the goal gradually," Li said.
When talking with a teacher from Tibet autonomous region, Li asked whether it is cold in the classroom in winter. The premier also asked a teacher from Fengjie, Chongqing, if there are any primary- and middle-school students dropping out.
Teachers in less developed regions should also keep up with the times and teach students not only knowledge but also methods of how to make contributions to society, he added.
The premier called on teachers to spark students' innovative ideas so that the country's competitiveness will improve. Innovative education is also expected to contribute to the central government's advocate of "mass entrepreneurship and innovation", he said.
Li's speech reflected what the central government and the premier himself have said previously, attaching great importance to education, said Yuan Guiren, minister of education.
Teachers should set themselves up as an example for students and cultivate talents for the country, said the minister.