Yesterday morning, the Shenzhen Municipal Government Information Office held a press conference to introduce the reform and development of basic education in the city. By 2025, Shenzhen plans to accommodate nearly one million extra students, including 740,000 in public school and 145,000 in kindergarten. It’s estimated that more than 50,000 teachers will be recruited in the next five years.
This announcement comes at a crucial time, with South China Morning Post recently noting that Shenzhen “lags behind many other large cities in providing basic public services such as education and health care.” Although the official population of the seaside city is 13 million, data from China Mobile suggested there were 21.8 million people in 2017 who “stayed in the city for more than 23 days per month for over 10 hours per day.”
The plan is divided in two phases, the first phase (2020-2022) will see 290,000 spots added for public schools and 60,000 for kindergarten. The following two years (2023-2025) the remainder of spots will be added for both levels of education, respectively.
Many believe that Shenzhen’s permanent population has indeed surpassed 20 million. Indicators such as Shenzhen’s waste per capita reveal that its population may be the same size as Beijing (unless we’re just an extremely wasteful city.) “Beijing, with an official permanent population of 21.54 million, produced 26,000 tonnes of domestic waste daily last year. In comparison Shenzhen produced 28,500 tonnes per day, suggesting a population at least as large as the capital’s,” reports SCMP.
Cai Yingquan, executive deputy district chief of Bao’an district stated that priority will be given to “state-owned reserve land, newly available land, stock land and idle land for school planning and construction.” An additional 100 hectares of land will be allocated for education uses.
[Cover image via Wikimedia]