Dai Bilingual Education Project raises student self-confidence and ethnic pride
(July 2011) The Yunnan Ministry of Education gathered a panel of experts at the Xiaojie Manbie Complete Primary School in Jinghong City, Yunnan, China, on 2 June. They met to evaluate the Dai Bilingual Education Project, a joint effort of the Yunnan Institute of Education, the Jinghong City Education Bureau and SIL East Asia. The experts heard a report from Deputy Director Liao of the Board of Education, reviewed case files, participated in a panel discussion and conducted interviews with teachers, parents and officials.
The project earned a very positive review, including the following points:
- With strong cooperation between the local government and the implementation team, leadership has been effective.
- The structure of the project and its processes of evaluation for continued improvement are satisfactory.
- The project is achieving goals on schedule.
- Eighty-five educational publications have been developed in the course of the project, each of which celebrates Dai culture and is designed for a specific developmental stage.
- The project has raised Dai students’ self-confidence and ethnic pride. A marked increase in student interest in school participation was observed.
- Teachers were trained to teach their classes in both Dai (the local language) and Mandarin (the national language), raising teacher competency and student performance significantly. Upper Level preschool students were able to compose short essays in fluent Dai, fulfilling the goal of allowing Dai children to master and use the Dai language.
- Local and international colleagues have demonstrated diligence and a high level of commitment during the past six years of collaboration on developing the Dai-Han (Dai-Chinese) bilingual instruction program.
- The project achieved good results, greatly influencing the community. It will certainly have a ripple effect and is worth further promotion and expansion.