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Mandarin education available for 96% of Xinjiang kindergarten students

  URUMQI - Mandarin language education is available for 96 percent of all kindergarten students in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, local authorities said Thursday.

  Currently, there are nearly 1.37 million kindergarten students in Xinjiang and 95.95 percent of them have access to three years of pre-school education in Mandarin, China's official language, according to the regional education bureau.

  In Xinjiang, ethnic minority groups are guaranteed the right to use and develop their own spoken and written languages, and there are ten major languages in the region. Seven languages are used as teaching languages in primary and secondary schools in Xinjiang.

  The autonomous region has also been promoting bilingual education, encouraging ethnic minority groups to study the standard spoken and written Chinese language, in a bid to enhance mutual understanding and improve career prospects.

  Last year, local authorities built, renovated and expanded 4,387 kindergartens in the rural areas and recruited an additional 44,500 bilingual teachers to ensure bilingual education covers all kindergartens in the rural areas.