The effect of the National Plan (2010-2020) on the development of preschool education in China: Evidence from before-after design at a 7-year interval and policy analysis

This paper examines the effect of the National Plan 2010-2020 policy that focuses on the development of the pre-school education system in China. The examination critically follows a before-after design. The data included six indicators of preschool education presenting the numbers of preschool education schools, total enrolment, new enrolment, graduates, educational personnel and full-time teachers. The census bureau data was retrieved from the National Bureau of Statistics of China for the years 2003-2009 and 2010-2016. The results indicated a statistically significant difference between the pre-and-post intervention intervals, implying that the National Plan implementation achieved a quantitative development of preschool education in China. This suggested three patterns of preschool education in China: semantic universalisation, numerical universalisation and agentic universalisation which can be extended to concrete and abstract forms. The presented outcomes support the realisation of the concrete form based on the quantity but not the abstract form which is based on quality. Further, the National Plan has been realised quantitatively but not qualitatively: the analysis of the census bureau data and the policy document supported this outcome in the sense that the policy document itself lacks a detailed description (focus) of the quality development.

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