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Xi's Teachers' Day speech draws wide global praise

China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-12 09:33

Respect for profession will lead to a better society, president says

The latest remarks by President Xi Jinping on the important role of education and teachers in shaping China's future have impressed and inspired overseas teachers.

In a speech delivered on Monday to mark China's 34th Teachers' Day, Xi reaffirmed the central importance the country has always attached to education for fostering personal growth, social progress and civilization. He called for more respect for teachers and stronger efforts to enhance education in building a modern, socialist China.

"China has steadily invested in education, such as in building hardware and importing brains," said Charles Cao Quin, deputy pro-vice-chancellor at the University of Leicester in Britain.

"Respecting teachers and valuing education are a Chinese tradition," and Xi's speech shows that China is continuing with that, he said.

According to Zhang Yungang, a high school teacher based in Essen, Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia, "Xi's speech demonstrates the close attention paid by a country's top leadership to education, and it's so rarely seen in the world."

Also impressed by the importance attached by the Chinese leadership to the role of education and teachers, Evaristus Irandu, an associate professor at the University of Nairobi, said teachers have a mission to spread knowledge and thinking as well as to help students mold their personalities, thus helping shape a nation's future.

"The secret behind the developed nations is education ... and above that the respect of teachers," said Saqib Riaz, head of the Department of Mass Communication at Allama Iqbal Open University, based in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

He spoke highly of Xi's appeal on Monday.

"President Xi Jinping made a very important and vital decision to give respect to teachers and their profession. This decision will benefit the Chinese nation in the long run," he said, adding that "respect for teachers will ensure long-lasting and sustainable progress and development".

Natee Taweesrifuengfung, a professor at the Panyapiwat Institute of Management in Thailand, believed enhancing the status of teachers and education conforms to China's role as a major country.

By spreading knowledge, teachers help push forward a country's sustainable development and progress, he said.

"I agree with Xi's appeal," he said. "This is in line with the right values and attitude of a responsible major country."

Li Xiaotong, head of the China-France association on educational exchanges, said Xi's speech inspires all teachers by highlighting their contributions to social progress.

As for teachers' roles in building social values, Li said: "When everybody gives more respect to education and teachers, teachers will surely value their profession more, and contribute even more to people's personal growth and a country's social harmony."

Pakistan's Riaz said, "If we respect teachers, more intelligent people will join this profession and we will produce better minds."

On top of enhancing teachers' pay and status, it is necessary to build a culture and an environment to give them a sense of pride and achievement, said Ye Xiuliang, an associate professor at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University.

"Education has an impact on national development," Ye said.

Xinhua

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