China’s five-year plan for 2021 – 2025 could help reach sustainable development goal for education

High-quality development is at the heart of the plans for education in China the next five years.  

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The corona virus pandemic emptied class rooms across the globe and reversed years of progress on education, the UN said. Photo: Wokandapix / Pixabay 

China’s 14th Five-Year Plan, mapping goals and strategies for the years 2021 – 2025, highlights better education for all.  

This means e.g., ensuring equal access to basic public education for all, advancing industry-education integration in vocational training. The plan also focuses on making higher education accessible to more people and providing better resources for life-long learning, Song Demin, vice minister of education, told a press conference in March.  

Narrowing urban-rural and regional gaps in education are crucial in the coming years, the vice minister added.   

By 2025, China aims to increase the average years of schooling for those aged 16 to 59, to 11.3 years. In 2020 the level was 10.8 years.  

”It is of great significance to building China into a modernized country and a powerful nation in terms of education,” said Liu Changya, an official with the Chinese Ministry of Education.  

Wang Yan, who is an associate research fellow at China’s National Institute of Education Sciences, saw China’s plan as an important contribution towards reaching the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal for education. 

The goal states that by 2030, the world’s nations should be able to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.  

The COVID-19 pandemic and the many school closures have, however, reversed years of progress in the field of education, the UN stated.  

In an opinion piece for the Chinese state tv channel CGTN from November 2020, Wang argued that planning has been the cornerstone of China’s growth for the last four decades.  

“Equitable and quality education will be the means of achieving quality growth as well as ends in terms of ensuring developmental opportunities and well-being of the Chinese people,” Wang wrote.  

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