Xinjiang works to bolster human rights

By Zhang Yangfei | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-03-28 08:54
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A girl studies at a school in Acto county, Kezilesu Kirgiz autonomous prefecture. [HU HUHU/XINHUA]

The right to education

Xinjiang has constantly raised investment in education. The national free nine-year compulsory education plan covers the entire region, while four prefectures in southern Xinjiang provide 15 years of free education up to high school level.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), the regional government built 4,408 rural kindergartens, accelerated the construction of boarding schools in townships and raised living allowances for rural boarding students to solve the problems such children face in remote farming and herding areas, according to Xu Guixiang, a spokesman for the regional government.

Kurban Niyaz, founder and teacher at the National Common Language Primary School in Qianjin Town, Wushi county, said the school has popularized the use of Mandarin, which has helped children realize their dreams.

"In the place I used to live, many children spent their lives in a world of a few hectares and a few sheep. Some never got out of the town," he said, adding that the conditions sparked his idea to help children step out of villages and realize their ambitions in big cities.

When he initially proposed opening a Mandarin language school, many people didn't understand, thinking it was unnecessary and impossible to achieve.

"Until I was offered support by the local government, I didn't know where I should go to find funding, whether parents would support the venture or where to find teachers," he said.

"To my surprise, parents rushed to send their children after we opened. We could only recruit 120 full-time elementary students for the first year, but more than 2,000 applied," he said.

He added that many parents told him that learning the national language will help their children find better jobs in the future.

He is proud that many of his students have achieved good academic results, with many admitted to prestigious schools like Tsinghua University in Beijing. Some have also studied overseas.

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