Chongqing- In a biology class at the school, Wan Zixi, a student, made a plant glue drop. “The corolla, petals, stamens of a flower are sealed inside," she said. "I hope that when I see it again in the future, I can remember the spring of 2022.”
In the High School Affiliated with Southwest University, Liangjiang New Area, Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, students innovated their biology homework design, forming perceptual understanding and rational thinking from flowers, birds, fish, insects, and the rotation of four seasons.
Wan added that homework had become a creative work, making her more interested in exploring biology. And this move is a vivid example of an active response to the “double reduction” policy.
In July last year, China introduced the "double reduction" policy to ease the burden of excessive homework and off-campus tutoring for young students. This year, Chongqing has insisted on promoting both inside and outside the school to implement the policy.
Not long ago, the Ministry of Education issued a notice promoting typical cases of “double reduction” in schools, selecting ten typical cases from various places' good experiences and practices. Chongqing’s detailed guidance assignment design measures by subject were successfully selected among them.
Reducing students’ homework burden is the primary task of “double reduction.” To improve the quality of the school, Chongqing focuses on the detailed guidance assignment design.
It is the first in China to issue 12 subject homework design and implementation guidelines, from subjects of Chinese, mathematics, and English in primary school and middle school to morality and law, history, geography, physics, chemistry, and biology in middle school.
This action plays a positive role in guiding schools in the stage of compulsory education to strengthen homework management and improve the quality of education. Thus, school homework has experienced a fundamental transformation, and the teachers also show their ways to explore and try the creative design of assignments.
For example, teachers and students walked into the factory to explore the mysteries of science and technology in the comprehensive practice course of Luohuang Experimental Primary School in Jiangjin District, while Zhongxian Experimental Primary School set up 1-12 volumes of "Happy Zero Homework Supermarket Menu" for all students to choose and complete every Thursday.
Corresponding to the reduction of homework burden is to improve after-school services and classroom teaching quality.
Huang Zheng, director of the Chongqing Education Commission, introduced that since the “double reduction,” Chongqing’s primary and secondary schools have formulated after-school service implementation plans to promote the “5+2” pattern. Schools carry out after-school services five days a week for at least two hours a day.
Besides the central city of Chongqing, many districts and counties have highlighted after-school services as well.
For instance, Beibei District innovated the after-school service model of homework guidance plus community activities, with more than 800 art, sports, labor, reading, science, and technology clubs. Shizhu, Liangping, and others have also investigated local cultural and educational resources, launching courses with regional cultural characteristics according to local conditions.
So far, an after-school service guarantee mechanism has been established in all districts and counties of the city. After-school service has achieved a “5+2” pattern with full coverage in compulsory education schools with some 3 million students participating, and the participation rate reached 98.32%.
In addition to reducing students’ homework burden, the “double reduction” also aims to ease off-campus training.
Since the implementation of the policy, Chongqing’s 1,545 off-campus training institutions have been reduced by 1,538, of which 1,064 have been transformed, and 474 have been canceled or closed, with a reduced rate of 99.55%.
Chongqing has also issued relevant regulations, stipulating that new discipline off-campus training institutions should not be approved again, and established an approval management mechanism for sports, cultural arts, science, and technology training institutions led by the education department.
Meanwhile, a special rectification to standardize off-campus training behavior has been carried out. It is estimated that it saves more than 6 billion yuan in off-campus training costs for more than 300,000 families every year.
At present, all districts and counties have established supervision and service platforms for off-campus education and training and adopted the third-party custody plus risk reserve model to supervise all approved institutions.
(Wang Lu, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)
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