Mandarin imposed on minority preschools


The Chinese Ministry of Education is making Mandarin the language of instruction for preschoolers in areas where minority languages ​​such as Mongolian, Tibetan and Uyghur, as well as regional Chinese languages ​​such as Szechuan or Cantonese, were used.

“In order to … implement Secretary General Xi Jinping’s instructions on national education in Mandarin (‘start them when they are babies’), we will continue to promote the use of Mandarin throughout the country,” a directive of August from the Ministry of Education. bed. From the fall semester of 2021, kindergartens in ethnic minorities and in rural areas that do not already use Mandarin for childcare activities must start doing so, according to the directive.

“We will focus on strengthening the learning of Mandarin in preschool children, during the critical period for language acquisition,” said the guideline, posted on an official government website. The decision aimed to “enable preschool children from ethnic minorities and rural areas to gradually acquire the ability to communicate at a basic level in Mandarin and to lay the foundations for the compulsory education phase”.

The government is launching a national group training program for kindergarten teachers to ensure a sufficient supply of qualified staff to meet the new demand. To help kindergartens to implement the directive, teachers in other parts of China will be ‘twinned’ with teachers, and kindergartens ‘twinned’ with kindergartens in rural areas and schools. ethnic minorities, according to the directive.

These mentors should “guide basic teachers to change their ideas about education and follow the rules of language learning for preschoolers”. Kindergartens in target areas should “organize a variety of activities to get children to hear more Mandarin, to speak more Mandarin, as well as to want and dare to speak, and to give them the opportunity to speak. mandarin, ”he said.

The government has also introduced similar changes to the national curriculum that will phase out the teaching of Korean in schools in northeast China, which is home to a population of around 2.3 million Koreans, the largest population in outside the Korean Peninsula, of which just under two million are Chinese nationals of Korean descent. Meanwhile, authorities in northwest China’s Qinghai Province arrested two Tibetan students accused of opposing the use of the Chinese language as the sole language of instruction in Tibetan schools, according to the report. Tibetan sources.

Identified as Gyuldrak and Yangrik, the two 19-year-old residents of Darlag County in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Golog (in Chinese, Guoluo) of Qinghai were arrested by Chinese police, according to a report by Radio Free Asia (RFA).

Sources say the students used the social media platform WeChat to criticize a Chinese policy requiring all classes in local schools to be taught only in Chinese starting in September.

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