Lawmakers call for more efforts to improve preschool education

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(Photo: Xinhua)

BEIJING, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese lawmakers on Saturday called for concerted efforts to promote the development of preschool education.

A report on the reform and development of preschool education has been submitted to the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee for review at its ongoing bimonthly session, which runs from Thursday to Monday.

China should set development targets and boost fiscal support for preschool education to ease the burden on parents, said Zhang Yong, a member of the NPC Standing Committee, when deliberating the report during panel discussions.

Lawmaker Qiu Yong called for joint efforts from kindergartens and families to educate children as well as more investments in preschool education in the country's remote and impoverished areas.

Qiu's appeal was echoed by NPC Standing Committee member Gao Youdong, who proposed improved benefits and more incentives for preschool education teachers working in rural and impoverished areas.

Preschool education should focus on nurturing interest in learning instead of putting too much pressure on children, said Ji Bingxuan, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, calling on parents and the media to identify the right purpose of preschool education.

Lawmakers also called for accelerated legislation on preschool education.

Noting that local experience and regulations in the area has laid a foundation, Arken Imirbaki, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee said the time is ripe for national legislation.

When delivering the preschool education report to the legislative session on Thursday, Minister of Education Chen Baosheng said his ministry is working on a draft of the preschool education law.

Chen suggested legislation on preschool education be included in the NPC Standing Committee's 2020 agenda.

China had about 46.56 million preschoolers in 267,000 kindergartens across the country by the end of 2018, according to the report.