Yunnan Province 10-year "Zero Barrier Bilingual Education" MOU

officials at MOU ceremony

(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.

Components of the cooperative project

  • Mother-tongue education for adults
  • Editing, approval and publication of teachers' resources and teaching materials for preschool to sixth grade, including training of teachers in "Zero Barrier Bilingual Education" concepts and methods
  • Project staff training, project management training, project development and planning training, and training to secure funding
  • Hardware and software assistance like school buildings, modern teaching equipment and library setup
  • Bilingual education program training for project staff, both in China and outside of the country

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.

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