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Experimental zone for the comprehensive reform of education in Nanshan District, Shenzhen

Nanshan (which was known as Nantou in ancient times) is a modern coastal district that is attracting investors due to its development and living standards. It is home to the ancient city of Xin’an, which goes back  over 1700 years. Nanshan not only played a lead role in Shenzhen’s history, but was also the cradle for the inhabitants of Hong Kong and Macao. In contemporary Nanshan, one can find a harmonious combination of traditional and modern cultures. Nanshan has everything one needs, i.e. excellent communication links, a convenient transportation system, mature infrastructure and a rich and fascinating cultural life.

In line with the development concept of “Harmonious Nanshan", Efficient Nanshan”, the District is striving to bring about global, consistent and sustainable development for its social economy and is continually evolving. Nanshan District is located to the west of Shenzhen’s Special Economic Zone and covers an area of 193 km2. It is one of the administrative districts of Shenzhen and one of the earliest regions to implement China’s policy of opening up. Nanshan is a centre for hi-tech industry, modern logistics, tourism and culture, as well as research in education and science. With all of these activities, Nanshan has special advantages and excellent infrastructure. Two-thirds of (the province’s?) doctorate degree holders and many talented people live and work in Nanshan. Moreover, two-thirds of foreigners living in Shenzhen reside there: they live principally in areas called Shekou and Overseas Chinese Town.

Nanshan District People's Government attaches great importance to the development of education. Nanshan District is the centre of educational and scientific research in Shenzhen City. Shenzhen has 11 full-time universities and 8 of them are located in Nanshan. The District is also home to Shenzhen University City, Shenzhen University, Tsinghua University, Peking University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Financial College of Nankai University, Virtual University Campus, Shenzhen Higher Vocational Technical College, Shenzhen Hong Kong and Macau Industrial Research Base, amongst others. There are about 50,000 students in higher education (?). Nanshan District has been called  Education Strong District in Guangdong Province, Promoting Advanced Education Modernization District in Guangdong Province, National Experimental Zone of Environmental Education, National Education Comprehensive Reform Experimental Zone, etc., and has been awarded a special prize for national education reform and innovation.

There are 167 kindergartens in Nanshan District, including (or: as well as?) 5 public kindergartens (Note by editor: I would have thought they were practically all public?). About 3.6 million children attend them (Note: are you sure of these figures? That makes a lot of children per kindergarten) and the enrolment rate for 3-6 year-olds is over 95%. Five public kindergartens are at the provincial level, 52 private kindergartens are at provincial or municipal level. Public kindergartens each have over 200 members of staff.

Nanshan District has 82 primary and secondary schools (by school site), as well as 68 public schools and 14 private schools (it is not clear what is the difference between these schools and the one ones mentioned immediately above), which collectively cater for 11 million students and employ 7,000 teachers. Nanshan District is active in implementing the talent pool strategy, and has a group of outstanding teachers who are well known throughout the country. Nanshan District is China's first batch of the Popularity of Two Basics Counties. It also has the following distinctions: National Basic Education Curriculum Reform Experimental Zone, National Ideological and Moral Education Experimental Zone,  Country which Promotes the Balanced Development of Compulsory Advanced Regions and a Sun Sports Advanced District.

There is only one vocational and technical school in Nanshan District: Bolun Vocational and Technical School.

Nanshan District attaches great deal of importance to community education, and is a Community Education Demonstration Area. Nanshan District has a district-level community college, 8 Street Community Education Centres and over 60 public schools. There are over 1,000 different types of training institutions which accommodate over 60 million students a year. Lifelong education is developing and being led by community colleges, as is the pattern of "three levels (regional, street, community) and two sub-levels (all kinds of adult education and corporate training institutions)”. (Note: it is not clear why this text is in quotation marks.)

Education in Nanshan District is rapiding developing due to the comprehensive reform and as a result of the opening up of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in 2010. Since the District’s development (?), education development strategy has always a priority. It has continually pushed forward the educational modernisation agenda and has managed to evolve from rural to urban education and then on to a modern education system. In the process of educational development, the District  proposed to “seize the three high ground of curriculum reform, Information technology, international personnel training”. It achieved “the three leaps of education fair,qualitative effect,education services “and sought to achieve the development goals of "creating world-class, exploring Nanshan model”. (Note: it is not clear why this text is in quotation marks.) It also actively participated in nation-wide discussions on the quality of education and spearheaded two major experiments pertaining to curriculum reform and citizens’ education. Nanshan is striving to become an “International Herald Excellence Education City (Note: this title is not clear)” as part of its efforts to bring about educational reform and development.

What follows is a non-exhaustive list of major projects that have been implemented or will be implemented:

---- Promote Internationalisation of School Educational Project;

---- Sino-Foreign Excellent Principle Forum Project;

---- Construct Overseas Base for Training Teachers Project;

---- Introduce and Optimise Foreign Teachers Project

---- International Curriculum Development Project

---- Construct Cloud Service Platform for Education Project;

---- Future School Construction Project;

---- Nanshan independent educational branding projects.

Nanshan’s education authorities are actively building a high-quality education system in line with its regional characteristics. Its aim is "the pursuit of excellence, to create first-class (a system which conforms to international standards?), promote international dialogue, and lead development". It plans to achieve this through vehicles such as citizen education, the development of a classroom culture, outdoor sports activities and lastly student organisations which would inject a vast amount of energy to sustain the development of education in Nanshan.

In order to explore the model of experimental zone for educational development, on 3 March 2010 the National Institute of Educational Sciences and Nanshan District co-signed an agreement to develop an innovative experimental area.

The experimental zone is currently underway and carrying out the following tasks:

- Comprehensive reform experiment of the Modernisation of Regional Education

- National issue: “A research of theory and practice on regional excellence education from an international point of view”, led by Zeng Lingge.

- Key issue for (?) the Minstry of Education: “an innovative model of practice research on talent revealed (?) during basic education”, led by  Wang Shuifa.

- Programming issue for (?) the Ministry of Education: “An action research of area (?) excellence classroom culture”, led by Pei Guangyong.

Communist China’s Nanshan District and the District People's Government are working to promote the internationalisation of education. They intend to promote this in several areas: the exchange of educational concepts, educational management, curriculum development, educational reform, educational evaluation, teacher training and student exchange. Currently, overseas co-operation units are operating in Hong Kong, the Taiwan region of China, North America and Europe. The venture has five  objectives: i) each school is to have a twin school overseas; ii) each school is to have at least one international exchange and co-operation (programme?); iii) each school is to introduce or develop a charter of international understanding; iv) Nanshan education bureau is to establish overseas platforms for international teacher training; v) they will develop an international student evaluation index system. Nanshan District is striving to bring about the the internationalisation of education within the next five years and become an International Herald City of Excellence Education. (Above you say “Excellence Education City”. Neither term is clear I’m afraid.)


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