A Local Perspective of the Reform of School System: The Development of Primary and Secondary Education in Fukien Since the Enactment of Kuei-Mao School System in Late Ch’ing China

Yu Wen Chou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Reforming school system is a difficulty social engineering. However, the state administers always took up-side down strategy to plan reform but ignored to consider the plan feasibility at local level, so as to hardly promote it. Using historical method with primary sources, this article, from a local perspective, explores the development of primary and secondary education in Fukien since the enactment of Kuei-Mao school system in late Ch’ing China. It found that serious shortages of new teachers and finance were two major obstacles. Furthermore, there also existed problems such as shortening the study years and employing staffs and teachers unlawful. Other factors also affected this reform, such as some local senior officials and gentry’s passive attitude to western-style education. Under “Government-supervised and Gentry-managed” model, local governments and gentry burdened the major responsibility of developing this western-style primary and secondary education, without financial support from the central government. Only few of them were enthusiastic and active. Besides, misallocating the limited budgets, abolishing the civic service examination and preparing for enacting constitution made the whole reform more complicated and difficulty. Consequently, Fukien developed worse than other provinces. This unsuccessful reform experience is worthwhile to learn for later educational reformers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-77
Number of pages39
JournalBulletin of Educational Research
Volume68
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Sep

Keywords

  • Fukien
  • Kuei-Mao school system
  • late Ch’ing
  • local history
  • primary and secondary education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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