Eight aspects strengthen supervision and four measures accountability to people (deep focus)

——Interview with the Governor of the Ministry of Education Zheng Fuzhi

  Our reporter Zhao Nuona

  Core reading

  For a period of time, the main reason why education supervision could not fully play its role is that accountability cannot keep up. In response to this problem, the China Office and the State Council issued the "Opinions on Deepening the Reform of the Supervisory System of Education in the New Era", which is designed from 8 aspects of supervision report, feedback, rectification, review, incentive, interview, notification, and accountability. A whole set of systems are interlocked, and efforts are made to bring accountability to the ground.

  The Central Office and the State Council recently issued the "Opinions on Deepening the Reform of the Supervisory System of Education in the New Era" (referred to as "Opinions"). This is a major measure to implement the "Decision" of the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee. The reporter interviewed Zheng Fuzhi, the inspector general of the Ministry of Education, to discuss how to make the educational supervision more effective, enhance the authority of supervision, and improve the ability and level of education governance.

Establish a system

Make the system more powerful

  Reporter: Educational supervision is a basic education system stipulated by the Education Law of my country. In order to enhance the authority of supervision, what considerations does this reform have in terms of system construction?

  Zheng Fuzhi: Education supervision has a long history. This system was established at the beginning of the founding of New China. With the reform of the national administrative management system and the development of education, the supervision system has been continuously adjusted and enriched. The introduction of the "Opinions" this time has three points to consider in terms of system construction:

  One is that the law is well-founded. The "Opinions" take supervision by law as the starting point of system design, and clearly propose to strengthen the construction of education supervision by law, improve laws and regulations of education supervision at all levels, and speed up the construction of relevant rules and regulations. With the implementation of the "Opinions", a legal system supported by special education laws, educational supervision regulations, and local educational supervision regulations will be formed. How to use it and how to hold it accountable have clear basis, standards and norms.

  The second is to improve the system. This reform emphasizes holistic and systematic nature, which not only reflects the characteristics and requirements of the new era, but also strives to solidify the previous good practices and experiences in education supervision to form a relatively complete system covering all aspects of education supervision. From the perspective of the target, it includes not only the government and relevant functional departments, but also schools and principals of various types at all levels, covering private schools for the first time. From the content point of view, all aspects of school standards, educational investment, ethics, education, teaching, campus safety, school party building, etc. are included. From the perspective of the team, it not only makes provisions for the employment and management of supervisors, but also sets clear requirements for the guarantee of supervisory working conditions.

  The third is based on national conditions. This reform and design of a set of systems has fully considered my country's national conditions. On the one hand, strengthen central planning and guidance at the central level, and put forward unified requirements for the supervision function, the establishment of the supervision organization, and the equipment for supervision. On the other hand, fully consider the situation of my country's vast territory and large regional differences, seek truth from facts and implement it in different levels. For example, in terms of governance, the Education Steering Committee of the State Council is responsible for organizing and carrying out the evaluation of the performance of education responsibilities of the provincial people's governments, and each province (district, city) is responsible for formulating and implementing specific measures for the evaluation of the education responsibilities of the people's governments of cities and counties within its administrative region. In general, after the introduction of the "Opinions", the supervision of the system is more powerful and the authority is established from the system.

Streamline functions

Make supervision more authoritative

  Reporter: To enhance the authority of supervision, it is necessary to straighten out the function of education and supervision. How does the "Opinions" consider in this regard?

  Zheng Fuzhi: Improving the authority of supervision needs to be reflected in the exercise of the supervision function and implemented in the specific supervision work. To this end, the "Opinions" will correctly perform the function of educational supervision as the focus and breakthrough of reform.

  One is to ensure that the educational supervision organization is "relatively independent." For a long time, the primary reason why education supervision is weak and soft is that the supervision organization lacks independence. There is no special agency and personnel to supervise the work of supervision. No one listens to what is said. In response to the above situation, the "Opinions" enriched the Education Supervision Committee of the State Council, added the Central Organization Department and the Central Propaganda Department as member units, and strengthened the party's leadership in the supervision work; requiring all localities to follow the Central Committee's practice, improve the establishment of the supervision organization, and strengthen the supervision force to ensure that The supervisory authority exercises its functions relatively independently.

  The second is to strengthen the "trinity" function. The "Opinions" put forward reform goals from three aspects: supervision, supervision and evaluation and monitoring. In terms of governance, a hierarchical education supervision mechanism for local governments at all levels to fulfill their educational responsibilities should be established to urge provincial, municipal, and county governments to fulfill their educational responsibilities. In the aspect of school supervision, a working mechanism is established for the overall planning and formulation of standards by the state, mainly implemented by local organizations, and the school is supervised to guide the school to continuously improve the quality of education. In terms of evaluation and monitoring, an education evaluation and monitoring mechanism with unified centralized management and multi-participation participation of the education supervision department shall be established to evaluate and monitor the school-running behavior and education quality of various schools at all levels. This not only strengthens the role of "supervision" to ensure that the supervision is effective, but also reflects the function of "guidance" to ensure that the guidance is effective.

  The third is to highlight Chinese characteristics. Urging local governments at all levels to perform their legal responsibilities for education is a distinctive feature of education supervision in my country. To this end, the "Opinions" make special arrangements for supervision, requiring key supervision of the Party Central Committee and the State Council on the implementation of major educational decision-making deployments, including the implementation of school-running standards, the implementation of education investment and funding management, the implementation of teacher preparation and treatment, and the implementation of major educational projects Etc. In terms of supervision, the Office of the State Council’s Education Steering Committee has focused on the evaluation and acceptance of the balanced development of compulsory education in counties, and will soon launch a special supervised assessment of pre-primary education popularization in counties, and implement special supervision on the salary of teachers of compulsory education not less than the average level of local civil servants.

  The fourth is to focus on joint efforts. The "Opinions" attach importance to the role of each member unit of the Education Supervision Committee, and clearly require the improvement of the working rules of education supervision organizations at all levels, clarify the responsibilities of relevant units, establish a communication and liaison mechanism, and form a unified coordination, division of responsibilities, and joint management. The "Opinions" particularly emphasize that the relevant units of the Education Supervision Committee of the State Council should arrange for specialized personnel to be responsible for contacting the education supervision work. All members must actively participate in supervision and perform their due responsibilities. As a member of the steering committee, you can't just "name" and don't contribute.

  The fifth is to strengthen the guidance. The "Opinions" propose to strengthen the guidance and management of local educational supervision organizations at all levels, requiring local educational supervision organizations at all levels to report their annual work plans, major issues, and supervision results to higher education supervision organizations. Consistent functions form a system.

Strengthen accountability

Let supervisors increase deterrence

  Reporter: The top priority of this reform is to strengthen accountability. To this end, what specific considerations does the "Opinions" have?

  Zheng Fuzhi: Ten inspections are worse than one accountability. For a period of time, the main reason why education supervision has failed to fully play its role is that accountability cannot keep up. The supervisor is the supervisor, the supervisor is also the guide. A lot of problems are found, but no one is responsible, and the supervisor does not feel the pressure. In response to this problem, the "Opinions" has designed a complete set of systems from 8 aspects of supervision reports, feedback, rectification, review, incentives, interviews, notifications, and accountability.

  There are a few considerations in accountability for the deepening of the reform of the educational supervision system. First, accountability in accordance with the law. There must be clear legal and statutory basis for what matters should be accountable and how to be accountable. For example, the "Opinions" make it clear that in the course of supervision, supervisors find illegal school operations, infringe upon the lawful rights and interests of educated persons and teachers, schools, and teachers’ moral deviance. The second is graded implementation. According to the relationship of education administrative jurisdiction, the educational supervision committees at all levels are responsible for the accountability of the people's government at the next level and related departments, and schools of all levels. The third is the procedure specification. There are a whole set of processes in the qualitative supervision issues, the determination of punishment measures, the making of accountability decisions, etc., so as to be standardized and orderly, and let the accountable objects fully express their opinions. The fourth is openness and transparency. Accountability and handling results shall be announced to the society in a timely manner.

  The package of measures put forward by the "Opinions" in the reform of the accountability mechanism has four most important and deterrent effects: First, it is linked to the assessment of political performance. The "Opinions" propose that in policy support, resource allocation and evaluation, appointment, removal, rewards and punishments of leading cadres, attention should be paid to understanding the results of education supervision and rectification; the records of supervision interviews should be reported to the party committee and government where the unit is supervised and the higher-level department for record, as An important basis for political performance and performance evaluation. The second is linkage with education and law enforcement. The "Opinions" particularly emphasize that it is necessary to integrate the educational supervision force and establish a linkage mechanism between educational supervision and educational administrative approval, punishment, and law enforcement. The third is publicity. The "Opinions" require that government portals, news media, and new media be used to make full use of publicly available supervision reports to the public and accept the supervision of the masses; the implementation of the Party Central Committee and the State Council’s poor deployment of education decisions and violations of relevant education laws and regulations The behavior was exposed in the news media. The fourth is joint responsibility. The "Opinions" emphasize that the competent department of the supervised unit should guide and supervise the supervised unit to implement the rectification opinions, and if the rectification is not effective, it shall be jointly and severally liable.

Team building

Let inspectors match

  Reporter: Playing a supervisory role is inseparable from a team of high-quality supervisors. What measures does the "Opinions" have on the construction of inspectors?

  Zheng Fuzhi: This reform attaches great importance to the construction of the inspectorate team and mainly proposes four measures. One is to match everything with strength. The "Opinions" clearly put forward the basic quality requirements of the country's inspectors, that is, they should be political, dare to assume responsibility, and understand education. There are also clear regulations on the number of inspectors. The second is strict management. The "Opinions" clearly require that inspectors should strictly abide by political discipline and rules, abide by professional ethics, dare to face hardships, and be loyal, clean, and responsible. The violations of discipline and regulations by inspectors must be dealt with seriously. Explore the establishment of an exit mechanism for inspectors. Those who are unqualified must be eliminated and those who fail to perform their duties should be dismissed. The third is to strengthen security. The "Opinions" clearly require governments at all levels to incorporate education supervision work funds into their financial budgets and use them in a coordinated manner by the supervision organization to properly solve the communication, transportation, accommodation, and accommodation generated by the education supervision staff, especially part-time supervision, as a result of education supervision work. Labor and other expenses. The fourth is reform and innovation. The "Opinions" clearly require innovative ways of appointing inspectors, exploring the use of a group of political inspectors with strong political qualities, rich professional experience, and strong work responsibilities among cadres who have not retired for long periods of time and are in good health. Among the principals, teachers, and experts who are not long and healthy, they hire a group of supervising supervisors with excellent business, dedicated work, and multi-job experience to specialize in school supervision.

  At the same time, innovative supervision methods have gradually formed an intelligent supervision system supported by modern information technology and big data. Pay attention to various supervision methods such as unannounced visits and random spot checks to continuously improve the targeted effectiveness. Strengthen the coordination of education and supervision work, control the frequency of supervision and supervision, and avoid increasing the burden on the grassroots.

  "People's Daily" (June 21, 2020 version 05)