Arts education resources, support on the rise within China

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In May, Wang Dengfeng from the Ministry of Education spoke on the increasing attention given to arts education in elementary and middle schools. Wang detailed China’s future arts education goals during a press conference that also touched on the improvement of resources and qualified teachers over the past five years.

According to Wang, elementary and middle schools in most provinces have followed the national curriculum plan to ensure the proportion of art courses is no less than nine percent of total class hours. As much as 93.2 percent of the high schools across the country require students to complete six arts credits, and 80.7 percent of the secondary technical vocational schools incorporate art courses into mandatory courses, which requires 72 teaching hours.

Wang stated the Ministry of Education had guided various localities to ease the shortage of arts education teachers in primary and secondary schools with multiple measures. The Ministry has implemented the “Arts Education Infiltration Action Plan” to initially support rural schools in 18 provinces with consistent and effective educational services.

“From 2015 to 2020, the total number of art teachers in school has increased from 599,000 to 778,000, increasing at 7.8 percent annually. And the proportion of full-time qualified art teachers in the total number of teachers has increased by 1.1 percent during the past five years,” said Wang.

In terms of arts education facilities, Wang claimed the equipment rate of art classrooms in primary and secondary schools nationwide had significantly increased. The condition of art teaching equipment and venues has also visibly improved. The equipment compliance rate for art teaching in elementary schools increased by 36.6 percent in the previous five years.

To further promote arts education for elementary and secondary school students, Wang demanded reforms in arts education assessment and suggested integrating art subjects into the high school entrance examinations.

“We will continue to improve the curriculum systems across different educational stages and expand the scope of art courses. We will also focus on promoting basic art knowledge, literacy, and expertise in schools through teaching and arts activities designed for students,” commented Wang.