|BEIJING, Sept. 12, 2018 -- The latest remarks by Chinese President Xi Jinping on the important role of education and teachers in shaping China's future development have impressed and inspired overseas teachers.
During a speech delivered Monday to mark China's 34th Teachers' Day, Xi reaffirmed the great importance the Chinese nation has always attached to education in personal growth, social progress and human civilization, while calling for more respect for teachers and stronger efforts to enhance education in building a socialist, modern China.
"China has kept on investing in education, such as in building hardware and importing brains," said Charles Cao Quin, deputy pro-vice-chancellor at the University of Leicester in Britain.
"Respecting teachers and valuing education are a Chinese tradition," and Xi's speech shows China is continuing with that tradition, he said.
Zhang Yungang, a high school teacher based in Essen, Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia, agreed. "Xi's speech demonstrates the close attention paid by a country's top leadership to education, and it's so rarely seen in the world," he said.
Also impressed by the importance attached by the Chinese leadership to the role of education and teachers, Evaristus Irandu, an associate professor with the University of Nairobi, said teachers have the mission to spread knowledge and thoughts as well as help a person to mould his or her personality, thus helping shape a nation's future.
"The secret behind the developed nations is education ... and above that the respect of teachers," said Saqib Riaz, head of the Department of Mass Communication at the Allama Iqbal Open University based in the Pakistani capital Islamabad.
He spoke highly of Xi's appeal on Monday. "Chinese President Xi Jinping took a very important and vital decision to give respect to teachers and their profession. This decision will benefit the Chinese nation in the long run," he said.
"Respect for the teachers will ensure long-lasting and sustainable progress and development," he added.
Natee Taweesrifuengfung, a professor at the Panyapiwat Institute of Management in Thailand, believed enhancing the status of teachers and education as was urged in Xi's speech conforms to China's role as a major country.
By spreading knowledge, teachers help push forward a country's sustainable development and progress, he said.
"I agree with Xi's appeal," he said. "This is in line with the right values and attitude of a responsible major country."
Li Xiaotong, head of the China-France association on educational exchanges ACESF, said Xi's speech inspires all teachers by highlighting their contributions to social progress.
Stressing teachers' role in building people's social values, Li said, "When everybody gives more respect to education and teachers, teachers will surely more value their profession, and contribute even more to people's personal growth and a country's social harmony."
Pakistan's Riaz said, "If we give respect to the teacher, more intelligent people will join this profession and will produce better minds."
On top of enhancing teachers' pay and status, it is necessary to build a culture and an environment to make teachers feel proud and have a sense of achievement, said Ye Xiuliang, an associate professor with Singapore's Nanyang Technological University.
"Education has an impact on national development," Ye said.