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Minority Education in ChinaBalancing Unity and Diversity in an Era of Critical Pluralism$
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James Leibold and Yangbin Chen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208135

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208135.001.0001

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The Practice of Ethnic Policy in Education

The Practice of Ethnic Policy in Education

Xinjiang’s Bilingual Education System

(p.131) 6 The Practice of Ethnic Policy in Education
Minority Education in China

Zuliyati Simayi

Hong Kong University Press

In her Chapter, Zuliyati Simayi provides a comprehensive and sophisticated survey of bilingualism in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). She highlights some of the important accomplishments over the last couple of decades, and some of the systemic limitations inherent in the current system. In particular, she emphasizes the way in which a minzu-based education, rather than one that takes the individual as its starting point, can undermine learning and social outcomes, echoing the debate in Western liberalism over the relationship between group and individual rights. She concludes: “…one of the essential objectives of school education should be not only the cultivation of respect for different ethnic group’s history, culture and guaranteed development, but also the cultivation of ethnic minorities into equal citizens of the state. The best way to realize this objective is to promote multicultural education that targets justice and equality at the individual level rather than a group basis.”

Keywords:   Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, Bilingualism, Multilingualism education, Multicultural education, Models of bilingualism, Minority education, Ethnicity, Chinese minorities

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