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Pilot program boost for less-popular schools - April 26, 2019

上海128所公办初中强校工程实验校人气明显提升

A total of 128 less-popular public middle schools in Shanghai have been selected for a pilot program to improve the quality of education and attract more students and parents, the city’s education commission said on Wednesday.

The program, announced in July last year, is part of the city’s efforts to ease parents’ craze for private schools.

Each school has been given a renowned principal, two veteran teachers and three guidance experts to spearhead three years of improvement. At least 5 percent of their teachers are from the city’s fourth “seed plan” to cultivate renowned principals and teachers.

Each school has analyzed its advantages and disadvantages, especially problems that have restrained development, and worked out key reform measures.

The commission organized 22 experts to assess their three-year plans. All were approved and are now being carried out.

One of the practices to further facilitate their development is to connect them with extremely prestigious principals in the city.

The principals are asked to teach at least twice a year in the less-popular middle schools and arrange “internships” in their own schools for principals and teachers from the less-popular schools.

Wang Yang, principal of Caoyang No. 2 High School in Putuo District, spends at least half his time at Xinglong Middle School, hosting or participating in meetings for leaders, administrators, faculty and students, and organizing successful teachers from the high school to observe and guide teaching in the middle school.

“With such deep involvement in the school operation, we can add what we want to students’ learning. We can not only help middle schools improve education quality, but also cultivate the students’ capabilities that are demanded by high schools,” he said.

The less-popular middle schools are also being paired with prestigious high schools and middle schools to share educational resources.

For example, Gezhi High School in Huangpu District has opened its online courses to students at Yingchangqi School and involves them in social practice activities, such as an investigative study program in Dabie Mountain in Anhui Province which requires Shanghai students to experience and research rural life.

Yao Xiaohong, director of the education bureau in Huangpu, said such practices can better prepare middle school students for their high school studies.

“Meanwhile, teachers in the middle schools are also invited to observe how high school teachers are teaching classes and even have opportunities to teach high school students for some time,” she said. “It enables them to redesign their teaching in middle school and help their students get prepared for high school study well.”


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