Education System

In 2019, the China Ministry of Education reported 1.5611 million students entering into compulsory education. The government has committed itself to markedly raising educational levels overall, as evidenced in a Ministry of Education program; it is estimated that by 2020, of every 100,000 people 13,500 will have had a junior college education or above and some 31,000 will have had senior high school schooling.

The institution of primary education in a country as vast as China has been an impressive accomplishment. In contrast to the 20 percent enrollment rate before 1949, in 1985 about 96 percent of primary school age children were enrolled in approximately 832,300 primary schools.

As of 2018, 96% of the population over age 15 are literate. In 1949, only 20% of the population could read, compared to 65.5% thirty years later.

Campaigns to eradicate illiteracy are a part of basic education.  Chinese government statistics indicated that of a total population of nearly 1.1 billion in 1985, about 230 million people were illiterate or semiliterate.  The difficulty of mastering written Chinese makes raising the literacy rate particularly difficult.  In general, language reform was intended to make writing and the standard language easier to learn, which in turn would foster both literacy and linguistic unity and serve as a foundation for a simpler written language.

Reflecting the fact that most of China’s population lives in the countryside, 95.2 percent of all elementary schools, 87.6 percent of junior high schools, and 71.5 percent of senior high schools are in rural areas, with 1.5611 million students at the compulsory education stage.

Our Programs and Results

The Library Project has been operating in China since 2006 and operates all four of our programs: Reading Rooms, STEAM Classroom Libraries, Children’s Literacy Bags, and Teacher Training.

As of the end of 2019, The Library Project had donated 1,372 reading rooms and 3,225 classroom libraries since its inception. More than 2,000,000 children’s books reached the hands of over 1,000,000 eager children. We could not have accomplished these incredible results without the support of our many partners, volunteers, and our dedicated team. We are now donating on average one program a day in China, which is a huge accomplishment, that everyone at the organization is very proud of.

The Library Project functions in twenty-nine provinces throughout China. We work with the most underfunded rural elementary schools, orphanages, and community centers in some of the most remote regions of China. The number of schools we work in is constantly growing, because we are very donor-driven, in that we work closely with donors on which region they would like to support. The Library Project currently works in; Anhui, Beijing, Chongqing, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hebei, Hubei, Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu, Jilin, Liaoning, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanghai, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjing and Yunnan.

The Library Project’s China office is in Xi’an.

Meet our Country Director, Nichole He

Nichole He is the China Country Director at The Library Project. She joined The Library Project in the summer of 2009 after working for a leading Xi’an English language magazine. Nichole came to The Library Project initially as a fundraising manager. Nichole soon gravitated toward strengthening our donor/organization communication. Today, Nichole has built a world-class team of Project Managers that donate, on average, one library a day throughout China. Nichole operates with a very high level of donor and volunteer involvement while engaging with local governments and rural schools. At the end of the day, Nichole ensures that each library donation is a positive experience for everyone involved by providing detailed reports as to the impact of each library donation. To Nichole, the most important part of her work is that children have access to beautiful libraries. Nichole holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Xi’an Fan Yi University.

Reading Rooms

A safe space for children to learn, grow, and explore the world.

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STEAM Libraries

Provides students and teachers easy access to a classroom library.

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Teacher Training

A comprehensive training course for teachers and administrators.

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In Their Own Words

Support Children's Literacy Today.

Students attending rural school do not have access to the same quality of education that those attending urban schools. The Library Project is responding by providing rural elementary school libraries, children's literacy programs, and teacher training.