Scientific literacy to flourish nationwide
Updated: June 25, 2021 17:31

The State Council issued an outline of a national campaign for scientific literacy on June 25, laying out tasks from 2021 to 2035 based on the notable achievements made in this field, especially since the 18th CPC National Congress.

According to the guideline, scientifically literate citizens made up 10.56 percent of the population in 2020, with improving scientific education and training systems, and international exchanges in scientific literacy seeing new breakthroughs.

To build a great modern socialist country with strength in science and technology, scientific literacy should play a big part in serving economic and social development.

By 2025, scientifically literate citizens should account for more than 15 percent of the whole population, with unbalanced scientific literacy development among all regions and groups alleviated. And the 2035 target will be 25 percent, laying a solid foundation for China to become one of the most innovative nations.

Curiosity and imagination among youths should be tapped, with further improvements in their interests in science, consciousness of innovation, and capacity to innovate.

To that end, scientific education in elementary schools will be improved, and scientific education, as well as science popularization, will be promoted in higher education.

A plan to cultivate talents for scientific innovation will be carried out, with individualized training for young people who show scientific potential.

At the same time, a cohesive mechanism for education resources in and out of the classroom should be established, and a project to enhance teachers’ scientific literacy will be implemented.

The scientific literacy campaign also covers the agricultural population, with education and activities mainly on ecological environment protection, thrift in energy and resources, green production, disaster prevention and alleviation, hygiene and health, and changes in old customs and habits.

Education and training for farmers should be launched with the help of agricultural broadcasting and television schools, with over 1 million being cultivated in entrepreneurship and innovation.

Scientific literacy of girls and women in rural areas should also be improved, to help them engage in the modernization drive of agriculture.

Actions should be taken to promote technique innovation, improve the professional skills of industrial workers and guide entrepreneurs to stay patriotic and honest, seek more innovation and take on more social responsibilities, according to the circular.

Elderly people should also have opportunities to learn how to use intelligent technologies and acquire better healthcare education, the circular said.

It also specified that government officials should gain more knowledge on the strategy of invigorating China through the development of science, education and the strategy of innovation-driven development, and enhance their scientific decision-making.

Scientific literacy must be taken into account for recruitment and assessment of government officials, it added.

According to the circular, during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), China will carry out five major projects to popularize science, boost scientific literacy, extend resource coverage, and improve international exchanges for global governance.

To ensure implementation of the plan, the circular stipulated that the China Association for Science and Technology will coordinate related parties to jointly push forward building scientific literacy, and local governments should include it in their comprehensive projects, annual work plans and evaluation of target management, the outline said.

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