Origin of Teachers' Day in China

September 7, 2017
Editor: Yang Yang

The idea of celebrating Teachers' Day in China was first raised in 1931. Educators Tai Shuangqiu (1897-1976) and Cheng Qibao (1895-1975) proposed to set June 6 as the special day with a view to increasing teachers' salaries and improving their qualifications. The proposal was approved by the then Kuomintang Government in 1932.

In 1939, however, the Kuomintang Government changed the date of Teachers' Day to August 27, the birthday of Confucius (551-479 BC), the most important educationist and philosopher in Chinese civilization. 

After the founding of the People's Republic of China, the central people's government resumed June 6 as Teachers' Day and announced that educators could organize their own activities in accordance with the actual situation. 

In 1951, the National Education Labor Union was established and recognized teachers as part of the working class. As a result, the union, and the Ministry of Education, decided to celebrate Teachers' Day on the same day as International Labor Day, which falls annually on May 1. 

In 1985, the ninth session of the standing committee of the sixth National People's Congress (NPC) adopted the proposal by the State Council and stipulated September 10 as Teachers' Day to develop the tradition of respecting teachers and drawing attention to education. 

The celebration of the day marks teachers, as a profession, being respected by the whole of society and the fact that teachers, to a large extent, determine the future of the country.  

In addition, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated October 5 as World Teachers' Day in 1994 in order to commemorate the "Recommendation on the Status of Teachers", jointly issued by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNESCO in 1966.

(Source: dbw.com / Translated and edited by Gender Study Network)

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