Kindergartens meet increased demand

Shanghai plans to build at least 30 new kindergartens each year to meet the increasing demand, said Lu Jing, director of Shanghai Education Commission.

Shanghai plans to build at least 30 new kindergartens each year to meet increasing demand, Lu Jing, director of the Shanghai Education Commission, said on Tuesday.

“We’ve foreseen this round of birth increases more than 10 years ago and made corresponding arrangements in educational resource allocation,” he said. 

“Therefore, the educational resources in Shanghai now is able to meet the demand for kindergartens in general, with 92 percent of the children aged between 3 and 6."

But he also said there is a temporary shortage in some areas with a large inflow of people.

“We’re watching the problem closely and will enhance construction of kindergartens, primary and secondary schools accordingly,” said Lu. 

“We have made plans to build at least 30 new kindergartens annually in such areas in recent years.”

“Shanghai has reached the inflection point of birth peak, so I think our citizens don’t have to worry about the supply.

"We will also encourage local universities to admit more students majoring in preschool education so as to increase the ratio between teachers and students," he added.

According to Lu, the number of kindergarten teachers in Shanghai has been increased to 71,000 from 41,000 in 2010. 

The 73 percent increase is much higher than the growth of students, which was 43 percent in the same period.

Lu also pointed out that education authorities are working hard to handle the increasing demand for nurseries to take care of children under 3 years old.

A total of 82 social organizations have been set up for busy parents to drop their young children off for day care since the city introduced new regulations on childcare facilities in April last year. There are strict requirements for the operation and staff. 

Meanwhile, 105 classes for children younger than 3 years have also been set up in local kindergartens, according to Lu.

Now, Shanghai has 565 institutions providing childcare services, including more than 480 in kindergartens and communities.

At least 50 such facilities will be built this year, which is listed by the city government among this year’s life-improvement projects.

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