Nearly 3,000 teachers from China’s restive Xinjiang province trained to teach and spread “anti-separatism” are being dispatched across the country to schools where students from the restive region are enrolled.
The objective behind the two-year programme is to promote unity, state media reports said on Wednesday.
The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), China’s largest and home to the Muslim Uyghur minority, has been intermittently rocked by violence in the past few years.
Speaking at the send-off, Xinjiang's Communist Party of China (CPC) chief Zhang Chunxian said the “teachers should lead students to promote unity and fight against separatism and religious extremism”.
A total of 2,939 teachers were selected for the program and specially trained.
“In a bid to provide better educational services and management, Xinjiang’s party committee decided to dispatch many more teachers this year to fully equip all educational institutions in inland provinces and regions that have students from Xinjiang,” news portal ts.cn reported.
More than 234,000 students have gone to other provinces from Xinjiang to study, the report said without specifying the period when they had moved.
“Over 2,700 teachers have been assigned to inland high schools to manage and provide services for Xinjiang students over the past decade,” the report said.
The number of teachers on this particular job was increased this year but no reason was given for the move.
“Educational authorities in Xinjiang first began assigning experienced teachers who can speak the Uygur language to other regions in 2000 to assist with the management of students from Xinjiang,” the report said.
Zhang said students from the region should be “guided” and helped to understand “the central government’s support for Xinjiang”.
Beijing blames religious extremists and separatists for violence that has claimed hundreds of lives in Xinjiang in recent years.
Rights groups say the violence is a result of Beijing’s hardline policies which impact the cultural, religious and linguistic rights of the Uyghurs.