Society, Politics & Law

A Chinese education

Updated Friday 28th March 2008

How does the Chinese system organise itself? As you might expect, there's a fairly firmly defined structure.

How children progress

Chart showing child's progression through the education system Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Alison Beale

From the ages of 6-7 to 11-12, a child will be at primary school; progressing to lower middle school. At 14, there are a number of options: senior middle school, leading on to university at 17-18; vocational or technical college; or straight into employment.

The Chinese education system

Chart showing the state education structure Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Alison Beale

The education of all children is overseen by the Ministry of Education, who, in the municipalities of Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing and Tianjin, are reported to directly by the Municipal Education Commissions; they, in turn, oversee the District Education Bureaus. Elsewhere, the Municipal Education Commissions report to the Provincial Education Departments.

The structure of Chinese schools

Chart showing the organisational structure of a typical Chinese school Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Alison Beale

Chinese schools are overseen by a principal, under whom there will be a vice principal; these, in their turn, oversee heads of department and a head of foreign affairs. In each school, the Party Secretary plays a key role, senior to the vice principals, but not subordinate to the principal.

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