Departments and ministries under the State Council, China’s Cabinet, have responded to a series of public concerns in the past week, including rental housing, social relief and aid, social insurance, industrial heritage lists and teacher information management systems.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has made public rental housing a key task of 2017. The ministry required local authorities to accelerate implementation of this task, in order to increase allocation of public rental housing for 2 million people this year.
According to Lu Kehua, vice-minister of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, allocation of public rental housing will be included in the assessment of local authorities. The ministry has signed agreements of responsibility with provincial governments on this issue. The ministry has required local authorities to take active measures to accelerate allocation of public rental housing.
Huang Shuxian, minister of civil affairs, said at a national meeting of social relief and aid held in Beijing on April 17 that related work should be strengthened through departmental collaboration.
The meeting requires local authorities to establish a collaborative mechanism at county level to guarantee the basic livelihood of residents encountering difficulties. Earlier this year, Vice-Minister of Civil Affairs Gong Puguang said the population living in impoverished circumstances that enjoy urban and rural basic living allowances reached 60.5 million by November 2016, which accounted for 4.5 percent of China’s population.
Social security reform
You Jun, vice-minister of human resources and social security, said that China has deepened reform of the social security system and further expanded coverage of social insurance. According to You, the number of people that benefit from the pension program has reached 890 million, and the number that has medical insurance has exceeded 1.3 billion, which has basically achieved universal coverage of all the citizens.
Wang Qianli, an official at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s Industry Policy Department, said in an industrial culture development meeting held in Luzhou, Sichuan province, on April 21 that China is actively promoting the development of industrial culture, and the first pilot list of industrial heritage will be released this year.
Industrial heritage refers to industrial architecture and construction sites, including workshops and plants, as well as the industrial culture they generate.
The ministry stresses the significance of protection and utilization of industrial heritage. Wang also said that China will promote the upgrading of industrial design, development of industrial arts and industrial tourism.
Teachers’ information system
The Ministry of Education said that a national teacher information management system was launched on April 20. The system has completed collection of information on teachers at all levels nationwide for the first time in China, and has established e-records for more than 15 million teachers nationwide.
The building of the national teacher information system started in 2014, and consists of national and provincial teacher systems. The new system could deal with core tasks, including teacher training management, transfers and job rotation.
The Ministry of Education issued a document on comprehensively promoting teacher information management recently. According to officials of the ministry, the teacher information management system will be further connected with relevant educational management service platforms, in order to collect and analyze the big data of teachers nationwide and enhance the effectiveness of teachers’ decision-making.