China’s implementation of a universal two-child policy will impose higher requirements on early education resources, resulting in a possible shortage of kindergarten spots,according to a survey by China Youth Daily. The survey estimates that kindergartens will be 110,000 spaces short of demand by 2021.
According to the survey, the two-child policy cannot reverse falling birthrate in the long term, but challenges like insufficient early education teachers will emerge in the short term. Early education demand will soar in 2019, placing stress upon kindergarten institutions, the survey said. Schools are advised to shift their focus to teaching quality between 2021 and 2035, as the effect of the policy will have slowed by then.
The report stated that China launched the two-child policy to reverse low birthrates and combat its aging population. However, a negative side effect of the decision is its impact on education resources. As the first group of students born after the enactment of the policy will come to school age in 2019, it is anticipated that the policy will have its maximum impact from 2019 to 2021.
Specifically, school-age children will increase by almost 6 million in 2019, 11 million in 2020 and then reach the peak of 15 million in 2021. After that, the number will fall back to 14 million in 2022 and remain at 12 million in both 2023 and 2024.
The report suggested that the Ministry of Education allocate resources based on predicted numbers. In addition, current education resources should be integrated to relieve the pressure caused by the two-child policy, and the quality of kindergarten teachers should be improved.
In a word, the growing disparity between the number of school-age children and relatively limited education resources remains a noticeable issue in China. It is only through the integration of education resources and the promotion of education quality that this problem can be solved, the report concluded.