The CCP Politburo conducted its fifth collective study session on building an education superpower on the afternoon of May 29. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CCP Central Committee, stressed during the study session that a prosperous education system means a prosperous country, and a strong education system means a strong country. Building an education superpower is the strategic vanguard for the comprehensive construction of a socialist modernized country. It is a vital support for realizing high-level S&T self-reliance and self-improvement, an effective path to promote the common prosperity of all people, and a fundamental project for comprehensively advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation with Chinese-style modernization. We need to fully implement the Party’s education policy, insist on people-centered education development, actively plan ahead, effectively respond to changes, and strive to open new prospects. We must accelerate the modernization of education, lay a solid foundation for people’s happiness with the power of education, solidify the foundation of national wealth and strength with the power of education, and provide strong support for comprehensively advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Qiu Yong, the Secretary of the Party Committee of Tsinghua University and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, provided an explanation of this issue and suggested work recommendations. Comrades from the CCP Politburo listened carefully to the explanation and held a discussion.
After listening to the explanations and discussions, Xi Jinping delivered an important speech. He pointed out that since the 18th Party Congress, the Party Central Committee has regarded education as a major plan for the country and the Party, made significant decisions to accelerate the modernization of education and build an education superpower, and promoted historical achievements and structural changes in education in the new era. China has built the world’s largest education system, and the overall level of education modernization has entered the ranks of middle and upper countries in the world. According to estimates, China’s current education superpower index ranks 23rd globally, an increase of 26 places since 2012, making it the country with the fastest progress. This fully proves that the path of education development under socialism with Chinese characteristics is completely correct.
Xi Jinping emphasized that the education superpower we want to build is an education superpower with Chinese characteristics. We must adhere to the Party’s overall leadership over education as a fundamental guarantee, take moral education as a fundamental task, educate people for the Party and the country as a fundamental goal, serve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation as an important mission, and modernize education philosophy, system, institutions, content, methods, and governance as the basic path, support and lead Chinese-style modernization as the core function, and ultimately provide satisfactory education for the people.
Xi Jinping pointed out that who to train, how to train, and for what to train are fundamental issues in education, and they are also the core topics in building an education superpower. The purpose of our construction of an education superpower is to cultivate generation after generation of socialist builders and successors who have all-around development in moral, intellectual, physical, aesthetic, and labor fields. We aim to cultivate generation after generation of talents who are useful and capable of taking on heavy responsibilities in the construction of socialist modernization, and ensure the succession of the Party’s cause and the construction of a socialist modernization superpower. We should relentlessly use the thought of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era to mold and educate people, focus on strengthening education on the core values of socialism, guide students to establish firm ideals and beliefs, always listen to the Party, follow the Party, and be determined to dedicate themselves to the country and the people. We should insist on reform and innovation, promote the integrated construction of ideological and political education in primary, secondary, and higher education, and improve the pertinence and attractiveness of ideological and political courses. We must improve online education capabilities and excel in school ideological and political work and ideological work in the internet era.
Xi Jinping emphasized that high-quality development must be the lifeline of education at all levels, and we must speed up the construction of a high-quality education system. Building an education superpower starts with basic education. The more solid the basic education, the steadier the pace of an education superpower, and the more sustainable its strength. We should promote the universal, inclusive, safe, and high-quality development of preschool education, and promote the quality and balanced development of compulsory education and urban-rural integration. Basic education should not only solidify students’ knowledge bases but also stimulate their interests in science and the unknown, and cultivate their exploratory and innovative thinking. We should establish a scientific view of talent, success, and education in the whole society, accelerate the reversal of the utilitarian tendency of education, and form a healthy education environment and ecology. In building an education superpower, the leading role is for higher education. We should regard accelerating the construction of world-class universities and superior disciplines with Chinese characteristics as a top priority, strengthen the construction of basic disciplines, emerging disciplines, and interdisciplinary disciplines, aim at the forefront of world science and technology and the national strategic needs to promote scientific research and innovation, and continuously enhance innovation ability and talent training quality. We must build a lifelong learning society and a learning power, promote the ability for everyone to learn anywhere and at any time, constantly improve the level of national education, comprehensively improve the level of human resources development, and promote the all-around development of people.
Xi Jinping pointed out that serving high-quality development is an important task in building an education superpower. The construction of an education superpower, a technological superpower, and a talent superpower has inherent consistency and mutual support. They should be organically combined and promoted as a whole to form a multiplication effect to promote high-quality development. We must further strengthen scientific education and engineering education, strengthen the independent cultivation of top innovative talents, and provide talent support for solving the key core technology problems in China. We must systematically analyze the development trends and gaps in talent in various aspects of China, according to the development trend of science and technology, focus on the major strategic needs of the country, dynamically adjust and optimize the setting of disciplines in higher education, train national strategic talents and urgently needed talents accurately, and enhance the supporting and contributing power of education for high-quality development. We must coordinate vocational education, higher education, and continuing education, promote the integration of vocational and universal education, the integration of production and education, and the integration of science and education, and continuously cultivate high-quality technical talents, national craftsmen, and skilled artisans.
Xi Jinping emphasized that the leap from a big education country to a powerful education country is a systematic leap and qualitative change, which must be driven by reform and innovation. We must adhere to the systemic concept, coordinate the reform of education methods, school operation models, management systems, and safeguard mechanisms, resolutely break all ideological and conceptual constraints and systemic and mechanistic problems that restrict high-quality education development, and comprehensively improve the level of modernization of the education governance system and governance capabilities. We must incorporate the promotion of education equity into every aspect and link of deepening comprehensive reform in the field of education, narrow the urban-rural, regional, school-to-school, and group gaps in education, strive to enable every child to enjoy fair and quality education, and better meet the needs of the people for “good schooling.” We must deepen the reform of education evaluation in the new era, build multi-subject participation, conforming to China’s reality, and build a world-class education evaluation system. We must strengthen textbook construction and management, firmly grasp the correct political direction and value orientation, and carefully create high-quality textbooks that cultivate the soul, enlighten wisdom, and increase knowledge. Digitalization of education is an important breakthrough for China to open up new tracks for education development and shape new advantages for education development. We must further promote digital education, provide effective support for personalized learning and lifelong learning, expand the coverage of high-quality education resources, and modernize education.
Xi Jinping pointed out that we should improve the strategy of opening up education to the outside world, coordinate the two major tasks of “bringing in” and “going out,” effectively use world-class education resources and innovative elements, and make China an important education center with strong influence in the world. We should actively participate in global education governance, vigorously promote the construction of the “Study in China” brand, tell Chinese stories, spread Chinese experiences, broadcast China’s voice, and enhance the international influence and discourse power of China’s education.
Xi Jinping emphasized that to strengthen education, we must first strengthen teachers. We should regard strengthening the construction of the teacher team as the most important basic work for building an education superpower, improve the teacher education system with Chinese characteristics, and vigorously cultivate a high-quality professional teacher team with high moral character, excellent professionalism, reasonable structure, and full of vitality. We should promote the social practice of respecting teachers and education, improve the political, social, and professional status of teachers, make teaching one of the most respected professions in society, and support and attract outstanding talents to teach with enthusiasm, meticulousness, long-term commitment, and lifelong commitment. We should strengthen the construction of teacher ethics and style, guide the majority of teachers to firm up their ideals and beliefs, cultivate moral sentiments, cultivate solid knowledge, and cultivate the heart of kindness, set the aspiration and ambition of “cultivating the podium, strengthening the country and me,” stick to the three-foot podium, and devote themselves to teaching and educating people.
Finally, Xi Jinping emphasized that building an education superpower is a common task for the whole Party and society. We must persist in and strengthen the Party’s overall leadership of education work, continuously improve the education leadership system where the Party committee exercises unified leadership, the Party and government manage together, and departments each fulfill their responsibilities. Party committees and governments at all levels must always adhere to the priority development of education and increase efforts in organizational leadership, development planning, resource security, and funding input. Schools, families, and society should cooperate closely, exert their efforts in the same direction, actively participate in the practice of building an education superpower, and work together to run a good education superpower. The whole Party and all the people of the country must have firm confidence, persevere, and work together to achieve the goal of an education superpower as soon as possible.