Beijing's teacher rotation policy aims to improve equity
Students have a class at a middle school in Beijing, March 1, 2021
Primary and middle school teachers in Beijing's public school system will be required to take part in rotation programs to further improve education equity and quality in the city.
Teachers and principals who have worked at the same school for more than six years will be asked to shift to a school in another district and share their knowledge and experience with new colleagues and students, Beijing Education Commission spokesman Li Yi said at a news conference on Wednesday.
Educators who are more than five years away from retirement and have worked at the same school for over six years are eligible for the program.
"The rotation program aims to bring high-quality education resources to more schools in the city," Li said. "Districts with weak teaching talent can get better support via methods such as dual-teacher classes during the program."
The new policy provides incentives for qualified educators to move, such as higher pay and rotation participation being taken into account when promotion is considered.
Teachers who have already changed schools say the program presents both challenges and opportunities. "There are distinctions in students from different schools," said Li Baoping, an English teacher at Beijing Huiwen Middle School in Dongcheng district.
Li transferred to a school in Chaoyang district in September. "In the process of handling the changes, my abilities in teaching and communication have improved," she said.
Lin Ming, director of the Hongshan branch of Beijing Huiwen Middle School, said making rotation participation part of promotion assessments provided a platform for young and middle-aged teachers to develop.
Yuan Xin, the mother of a 13-year-old student, said new teachers at a school may introduce fresh teaching methods and stimulate students' interest in learning.
"We hope the policies can reduce children's burden and give them more time to explore what they like," Yuan said. "They can schedule their time better as they grow up."
Yu Chen, 36, whose eldest son studies at Shijia Primary School, welcomed the policy and said it was a better use of education resources. "Beijing has issued a lot of educational reforms in recent years that have been very helpful to the overall development of children," she said.
Some districts in Beijing have already started implementing rotation programs. Education authorities in Dongcheng said all eligible teachers in the district would take part in rotations over the next three years. Officials in Miyun district have also announced that they have arranged for 50 educators to take part in rotations this year.
Meanwhile, efforts are also being stepped up to relieve study burdens on students.
Gao Wei, director of Dongcheng's education commission, said that the district was aiming to introduce more after-class services for students on school days.
Zhang Wenliang, from the Miyun education commission, said the district is planning to better coordinate after-school services and in-school teaching.
On Aug 18, the Beijing Education Commission issued regulations to reduce students' burdens by banning after-school subject training courses.
Feng Xiaojie in Beijing contributed to this story.