In Changshun County, Guizhou, we implemented a pilot project for ethnic minority students in Ronglei Primary School to develop indigenous education resources. Here, Bouyei students in traditional clothing use these materials to learn Bouyei nursery rhymes. Photo: Yan Lan/ Oxfam
We aim to promote equal access to education and the implementation of multicultural education. Oxfam’s work in basic education mainly focuses on the western areas of mainland China, including Quizhou, Yunnan and Gansu. We work with our partner organisations to support the establishment of schools, train up volunteers as assistant teachers, and provide teachers with training in local curriculum development, and bilingual teaching in Chinese and the native languages of ethnic minority children. Besides, we also implement programmes on pre-school education, provide companionship to left-behind children and education to migrant children, and influence policies through advocacy work.
Basic education programme has been one of the major interventions of Oxfam Hong Kong (Download |Chinese only)
Basic education programme has been one of the major interventions of Oxfam Hong Kong’s poverty alleviation work. OHK’s basic education programme focuses on equity and quality of education. At present, the basic education programme areas cover Guizhou, Gansu, Yunnan and Beijing. This brief includes the analysis of the new development stage of rural basic education, issues faced by rural-urban migrant children, left-behind children and related issues after closing some small-scale schools. It highlights the objectives, strategies, milestones, major outputs and outcomes on policy advocacy, and good practices of basic education programme.
Completion of Construction of Primary School in Rongjiang County, Guizhou
In December 2015, after two years of construction, Huayou Primary School in Guzhou Township, Rongjiang County, Guizhou was completed and officially open after being inspected by various government departments. Beginning next semester, all students from the 10 natural villages near Huayou Village will be able to study at this new primary school and will no longer need to study in rundown classrooms. The new school not only offers improved learning conditions for children who live in remote areas, it also ensures that these children can attend school nearby and ease parents’ concerns as children do not need to travel long distances.
Building this school has encouraged the local government departments to provide facilities, equipment and teachers for it as well as allocate resources into remote and poor areas. As such, this has encouraged the sustainable development of small-scale schools.
Indigenous Culture Curriculum Development and Training for Teachers in Changshun County, Guizhou Province
Our indigenous culture curriculum entitled ‘The Land of Love’ was revised and printed in April 2015. The curriculum was the fruit of students’, teachers’ and the community’s efforts, and helped to create more interesting materials for students, and encouraged interaction between teachers and students.
During the summer holidays, 40 teachers from 40 village schools received teacher training to better understand this curriculum. The revised curriculum will be introduced in 40 schools to encourage multifaceted education for students in Changshun’s remote areas.
For many years, Oxfam has worked with our partner, the Changshun County Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, to explore ways to encourage the all-rounded development of small-scale schools. ‘The Land of Love’ was one of these initiatives, which helped develop the indigenous curriculum.
Studies on Equal Educational Opportunities for Migrant Children
During the first half of 2015, our programme staff together with experts from Lanzhou University’s Agape Social Work Institute of Gansu Province visited places like Guiyang, Lanzhou, Shanghai and Chongqing to conduct research on migrant children. We did this through various means, including interviewing organisations that offer support to migrant children, private schools, public schools that have admitted a large number of migrant children, distributing surveys, conducting individual interviews, and having informal discussions with the education departments of various cities/municipalities. We also worked to understand problems migrant children face in education given their increasingly urbanised background, and learnt about the experience gained through implementing educational programmes for migrant children in different places. We sought to understand this through policies, education at schools, family education, the social environment and students. This research will be important reference for future policy advocacy efforts.
Programme on left-behind children in Huining County, Gansu
With the prolonged absence of their parents, left-behind children – children whose parents have left their villages in search of work in the cities– easily develop psychological and social problems as well as problems in their studies. Through working with our partner in Gansu, Rainbow Volunteer Club, we train up people to become volunteer assistant teachers to help left-behind children overcome difficulties in their studies and become their companions in order to help these children grow up healthily physically and emotionally. Together with schools, families and communities, we also explore how best to provide left-behind children with an education and care.
In March 2015, our programme staff and partner organisation visited three primary schools in Huining County to understand the working conditions of five volunteer assistant teachers. Rainbow Volunteer Club also held a two-day workshop in Lanzhou where social workers answered volunteer assistant teachers’ questions and shared how they handled various real-life cases.