Retired educators return to continue excelling in the field

In line with a recent circular from the Ministry of Education, China intends to recruit 20,000 retired teachers annually and utilize their experience to enhance high-quality instruction. The circular stated that experienced educators are urged to assist private schools in developing the experts that businesses and industries urgently require. This is especially true for higher education institutions, western regions, and locations with a population of ethnic minorities. It further stated that qualified teachers are urged to stay on for an extended period of time and that the teachers will offer supportive services in academic research and teaching for at least a year. With the addition of lectures and online learning, the services primarily concentrate on course instruction, teaching guidance, and teacher team building.


In an effort to address a teacher shortage in primary and secondary education, China introduced an action plan in 2018 that specifically targeted retired educators. The concept was extended to higher education institutions in 2020, with a focus on recently founded universities in less developed western regions. The education ministry was one of ten departments that produced the National Silver-Age Teacher Action Plan last year. The ministry announced in November that over 20,000 retired primary and secondary school teachers as well as 1,400 retired university lecturers had been hired. In three years, the plan is expected to offer basic, vocational, higher education, and lifetime learning for roughly 120,000 retired teachers.


After retiring in 2017, Ding Houyi is currently employed at a Jiangxi province primary school in Tonggu county. The 67-year-old dedicates his time to giving lectures, setting up after-class activities, and instructing calligraphy. In response to the policy of easing the burden of homework and extracurricular activities on students, Ding delivers lectures and starts several programs for art instruction and after-school activities. “Returning to classes after retirement is a lucky chance,” he stated. “It’s worthwhile to make a contribution to the education sector and participate in school business as we should never stop learning.”

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