Teachers in China's impoverished rural regions are under-subsidized, the country's education authority said on Friday after evaluating an incentive program designed to retain teachers in backward regions.
The ministries of education and finance launched the program offering additional allowances to teachers in primary and middle schools in disadvantaged areas in September.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) said, however, the program has not been enforced well, citing low subsidy levels, limited coverage of the program and a lack of transparency.
Only 219 impoverished counties, one third of the total that the program covers, are subsidizing rural teachers. Also, subsidies were not being provided to all teachers in some of the 219 counties.
The subsidy standard is relatively low, falling short of attracting excellent teachers, according to the MOE. The 219 counties are offering an average subsidy of 258 yuan (41.5 U.S. dollars) per person per month.
The central government, however, earmarked 915 million yuan in 2013 for implementing the program. Local governments were also told to provide funds, but some have failed to show their commitment, according to the MOE.
The ministry also criticized local education authorities for not publicizing the policy and a lack of transparency in executing the program. It ordered them to rectify current practices.
China has more than 100 million rural students in compulsory nine-year education, accounting for 70 percent of all Chinese students at that stage. These rural students are taught by some 6.2 million full-time teachers.