Thousands of Xinjiang teachers will take part in a two-year program designed to provide “anti-separatism education and promote unity among students”, say local authorities.
Xinjiang Party Chief, Zhang Chunxian, told the 2,939 teachers sent to inland Chinese institutions that they should “lead students to promote unity and fight against separatism and religious extremism.”
Zhang reminded them that it was the their responsibility to “help students gain a better understanding of the central government’s support of Xinjiang”.
Since 2000, over 2,700 teachers that can speak Uighur were relocated to “assist with the management of students from Xinjiang”, reported Tianshan Network.
The relocation of Xinjiang teachers comes at a time when the region suffers from a lack of educators.
In February 2015, Xinhua reported that there was a shortage of more than 30,000 teachers proficient in both Mandarin and one local language in Xinjiang. As Mandarin-speaking teachers were necessary to spread “the official tongue”, local authorities announced they were allocating 254 million yuan ($41.48 million) over five years to teach Mandarin to ethnic minority teachers in order to make up for the region’s shortfall of bilingual teachers.
Xinjiang, however, looked to alleviate the teacher shortage this past May by hiring 11,000 new teachers from around the country. Overall, Xinjiang hired 72,600 teachers over the past five years, 62,400 of whom were bilingual.