Raise teachers' pay to ensure better future
(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-08-26 07:41
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Salaries of teachers working in the basic education sector should be raised to ensure better standard of education, says an article on Xinhua net. com. Excerpt:

The Teachers Law says teachers' salaries should not be lower than that of civil servants. But in reality, teachers earn much less.

One reason for that is the low government expenditure on education. The target of spending 4 percent of GDP on education has not yet been achieved. Compared with the huge amounts spent on administration, lack of finance is not convincing enough an argument for the poor expenditure on education.

The other vital reason why most of the teachers' earnings are low is the improper distribution of educational resources. Educational resources, good institutions, qualified teachers and students all are concentrated in large and medium-sized cities so most of the funds are directed there.

The income of some teachers in key schools may be rather high, but most of them, especially in the countryside, hardly get a decent salary.

Because of the low salaries that teachers get, many potential good teachers opt for other fields. Some teachers even quit their jobs to shift to other fields that guarantee a better pay.

If the authorities don't increase the expenditure on education it would be hard to attract talented teachers. That, in turn, would harm the standard of education in the country, blunt the edge of Chinese students in international competitions, and ultimately undermine our effort to become a knowledge-based society.

As the Teachers' Day approaches, we appeal to the government to raise the salaries of teachers working in basic education sector to ensure a better future all.

(China Daily 08/26/2009 page9)