chapter  5
Rural Classroom Teaching and Nonfarm Jobs in Yunnan
ByJin Xiao
Pages 25

Improving the quality of education in poor rural areas has been an important issue of education reform in the current “Go West” movement, which aims to better meet the demands of the new market economy. After interviews with rural firms that hire graduates from poor rural areas, this research focused on classroom teaching to find out if the traits judged by local rural firms as important, including the ability to relate theory to practice, open-mindedness, initiative, and a sense of responsibility, were being taught in schools. Five local primary schools were the focus of the fieldwork and interviews with teachers and students. The results show that classroom teaching, following the centralized and exam-oriented curriculum, is decoupled from the needs of the local firms that are supposed to lift graduates and the rural communities they serve out of poverty.