"This year, many highly educated people came to teach at Beijing Bayi School!"
Looking at the energetic faces, Shen Jun, the principal of Beijing Bayi School, couldn't help but recall the scene when President Xi Jinping visited the school more than four years ago.
President Xi returned to Beijing Bayi School, his alma mater where he spent his primary and junior high school years. Xi shook hands with Chen Zhonghan, Chen Qiuying and other teachers. He expressed heartfelt thanks to the teachers and wished them good health and long life.
Shen said that day at the symposium, "We welcome the president back to school." But President Xi said, "There is no president in school… only teachers and students." There was warm applause from the audience.
On every Teacher's Day, President Xi has expressed sincere greetings to educators in the country and his earnest expectations for the educators.
"Teachers should be a guide for students to temper their character, a guide for students to learn, a guide for students to own innovative thinking, and a guide for students to contribute to the motherland."
"The CPC and society should promote the social norms of respecting teachers and valuing education and enhancing the political, social, and professional status of teachers so that they can enjoy their due social prestige and make greater contributions to the cause of the Party and the people by imparting knowledge and educating people."
President Xi inspected Zhongyi Township Primary School in Shizhu Tujia Autonomous County, Chongqing in April 2019.
He instructed the teachers to be good teachers and urged them to act like temporary parents who teach and educate the students.
Xi hoped that the teachers could settle in mountain areas, devote themselves to rural education and contribute to poverty alleviation.
In the past five years, the central government has allocated 20.6 billion yuan in financial support to rural teachers, benefiting nearly 1.3 million teachers, more than 80,000 schools and 725 counties in the central and western regions.
The age and educational background of teachers has been changing for the better: Some 43.4 percent of teachers are younger than 35 and 51.6 percent have a bachelor's degree or higher.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has prioritized teaching and strengthened teaching ranks during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016–2020): Teachers are better qualified and receive higher pay and benefits.
The central government has set up a system to instill a work ethic in teachers and promoted respect for teachers and valuing education.
During the 13th Five-Year Plan, the annual average number of certified teachers has exceeded 1.6 million, an increase of 37 percent since the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015).
(Translated by Long Wei, edited by Sun Tianren; original story from People's Daily)