Global Times

Chongqing will fund the training of 77 male nursery teachers to address the gender imbalance in the municipality’s kindergartens.

According to a government notice released on April 21, the 77 candidates will receive five years of free training and be given a cash allowance during this period, news portal reported Wednesday.

According to the notice, these teachers will be required to work in the kindergartens to which they are assigned for at least six years after their training ends.

During their training, they will be forbidden from changing their majors.

The men will be chosen by the Chongqing Vocational College of Culture and Arts from among the city’s junior high school graduates, read the notice.

The 77 trainees will study a variety of courses at the college including physical training and computer skills.

The college said on its official website that all the men will receive jobs in the public sector after their training, which the school says will guarantee them a stable income and good benefits.

Currently, China’s preschools are mostly staffed by women.

“Women account for approximately 92 percent of those studying preschool education at Zhengzhou Normal University,” a teacher at the Henan Province institution was quoted as saying by news portal

Chongqing’s move is in contrast to the ongoing public prejudice against male nursery teachers in China.

“My relatives told me that if I chose to major in preschool education, I can’t find a girlfriend and support my family,” an intern at a kindergarten in Deyang, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, was quoted as saying by the Sichuan Daily in a May 2016 report.

“It is not good to lack male teachers, as kids will not develop characteristics from both genders,” Yu Ling, the head of Chengdu No.16 Kindergarten was quoted as saying in the Sichuan Daily report.