Defining and coordinating policy continued
BOX 2.7: TEACHER POLICY IN LARGE STATES – CHINA
As in almost all countries, China embeds elements of teacher policy within its ten-year education sector plan, rather than constructing a dedicated teacher policy. The plan has a chapter on teachers, which focuses on key elements to improve teacher/teaching quality in the continued political and economic transition of the world’s most populous country and second largest economy. These include:
- Promoting professional ethics in relation to teacher appointment, employment, evaluation and misconduct
- Raising professional efficiency through training to strengthen both knowledge and pedagogical proficiency, with a focus on teacher leaders, mentors and principals; all teachers are expected in the future to undergo professional development every five years; the plan calls for bilingual training to strengthen minority areas
- Concentrating policy tools on rural teacher recruitment, deployment and quality, through career and salary incentives
- Raising teachers’ working and living conditions to increase the talent pool and commitment to lifelong careers, through such measures as legislation to guarantee salaries comparable to or higher than other civil servants, performance-based salaries, incentives for remote and border areas, preferential housing and improved social security measures (a policy objective that rarely figures in other plans or policies)
- Strengthening teacher management, especially at local (county) level, through credentialing and a permit system to determine appointment decisions; career progression is to be more subject to service in rural and remote areas.
Specific teacher policy considerations also apply to conflict and post-conflict or post-disaster contexts. The INEE Guiding Principles on Integrating Conflict Sensitivity in Education Policy and Programming in Conflict-Affected and Fragile Contexts (INEE, 2013) identify several important policy aspects relating to teachers, including:
- Strengthening the process of supplying and training teachers (and teacher trainers)
- Strengthening the Teacher Management Information System (TMIS), the EMIS and teacher salary systems
- Ensuring adequate numbers of trained teachers who reflect the diversity of their societies (different ethnic and religious groups, and gender).