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(June 2010) On 30 June, the Yunnan Province 10-year "Zero Barrier Bilingual Education" Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony was held in Kunming, China. The MOU is a three-way agreement between the Yunnan Provincial Education Association Minority Education Committee, the Yunnan Provincial Ethnic Affairs Commission Minority Language Guidance Committee and SIL East Asia. The goals are to improve children's learning and cognitive abilities and improve the basic education level in the minority areas.
The "Zero Barrier Bilingual Education" program will promote the local development of basic education, and thus benefit the local communities. The direct beneficiaries are local teachers, preschool students, primary school students and community members. The experience gained from the project will be shared with others who are interested in bilingual education.
This MOU signing is pivotal for SIL bilingual education work in Yunnan. It will serve as a model for future bilingual education work in other provinces in China. Such programs in China will become a showcase to Southeast Asia and the rest of the world.