by Yang Zixin - Women of China

Jiangsu Province is offering free courses at pre-school primary education normal schools for male students in efforts to even out the preponderance of women in kindergarten teaching posts. It is hoped that in three-to-five years’ time there will be at least one male teacher in each of the province’s kindergartens.

“The gender imbalance among kindergarten teachers affects the quality of the working population and hence the future of the nation,” deputy spokesperson and director of Jiangsu Province education department Hu Jinbo said. As pre-school teaching is conventionally a women’s reserve, few young men apply for kindergarten teacher training courses. The 1:9 female:male ratio in this profession, manifest in an almost complete absence of male kindergarten teachers, has serious implications. It is also a problem in more developed countries, where the percentage of male kindergarten teachers is 10% -20%.

In a bid to encourage more young men to become kindergarten teachers the Jiangsu Province finance bureau will bear the cost of normal school tuition fees and full-board accommodation, director Hu said. Pre-school primary education normal schools in the province plan to enroll 300 male students this year.

Chief of Jiangsu Province education department teacher section Fan Zengrong announced that normal schools are formulating teacher training schemes for male students that incorporate a competitive selection mechanism whereby students falling behind with course work forfeit their free teacher training and accommodation.

(Source: / Translated by