September 10th was designated Teachers' Day in 1985, the first festival day for any profession and indicative of government efforts to raise the social status and living standards of teachers.
To improve the quality of teaching, the government has started the Nationwide Program of Network for Education of Teachers. Its aims are: to modernize teachers' education through educational information, providing support and services for life-long learning through the teachers' education network, TV satellite network, and the Internet; to greatly improve the teaching quality of elementary and high school faculty through large-scale, high-quality and high-efficiency training and continuous education.
As required by state law, all parts of China are implementing teacher qualification systems and promoting in-service training for large numbers of school principals, so as to further improve school management standards. Currently, in schools of higher learning, professors and assistant professors account for 9.5 percent and 30 percent respectively. Young and middle-aged teachers predominate; teachers under age 45 account for 79 percent of total faculty, and under age 35 for 46 percent. Teachers in higher education constitute a vital contingent in scientific research, knowledge innovation and sci-tech. Of all academicians in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 40.7 percent (280) are in the higher education sector; for the Chinese Academy of Engineering the corresponding figure is 35.3 percent (234).