Xinjiang County Government Promotes Chinese Language Training Projects for Uighur Students

May 10, 2005

Government officials in Kuche (Kuqa) county in Xinjiang have allocated RMB 1 million per year between 2004 and 2009 to improve Han language competency in primary schools, according to a May 10 article in the Xinjiang Daily. More than 90 percent of the county's 60,000 Uighur primary school students who study in Chinese now have working competency in the language, according to the report. The government has enrolled 150 Uighur teachers from the countryside in a five-year Han language program at the Northwest Nationalities Institute in Gansu province. The teachers will return to Kuche County during their school holidays to conduct Han language training sessions for other teachers, and to set up Han language testing centers.

The Kuche county policy reflects a government push throughout Xinjiang to increase the use of the Chinese language. Many Uighurs report that the Chinese language campaign specifically restricts the use of the Uighur language (see here for related analysis).