Research Trends and Reflections on China’s “Guomen Schools”: Focusing on Policies and Chinese Language Papers (2010–2021) co-authored with Dr. Yuto Kitamura
In recent years, with the acceleration of globalization and regional integration, people’s mobility between China and countries along China’s Belt and Road initiative has rapidly increased. At the same time, this has led to an increasing number of foreign students from neighboring countries attending “Guomen Schools” in China’s land border areas. The term “Guomen School” refers to public schools in border regions, covering all levels of schooling; pre-school, basic, and higher. This paper first reviews China’s policies on “Guomen Schools” and describes how they have been positioned at the national and local levels in China’s social and educational policies. Then, it summarizes the research trends on “Guomen Schools” in China, focusing on the Chinese language literature published from 2010 to 2021. Finally, it discusses issues and prospects regarding research on “Guomen Elementary Schools” in China’s border regions. Research findings show the followings. First, “Guomen Schools” policies are closely linked to poverty reduction policies, ethnic minority policies, and national development strategies. The poverty reduction policies of the central and local governments have focused on supporting infrastructure development, strengthening facilities, securing budgets, and guaranteeing expenses for “Guomen Schools.” Moreover, to provide high-quality education, the government supports the development, dispatch, and training of teachers at “Guomen Schools.” In addition, as part of the “national treatment,” schooling support measures for foreign students at the compulsory education stage were also implemented through local financial resources. However, support for international students in compulsory education may vary due to disparities in regional development. Second, research on “Guomun Schools” has developed from four research perspectives, including “history and school functions,” “national education and patriotic education,” “educational quality improvement,” and “governance and educational safety.” Previous studies have focused less on the history and functions of “Guomen Schools,” and these research areas were limited to the border region of Guangxi and Yunnan Provinces. Furthermore, research findings show a shift of research focus from “integration” to “patriotism-oriented.” This shift is considered to be a manifestation of the Chinese government’s revitalization of the Chinese nation and the strengthening of the Party’s control of the state since 2013. With emphasis on quality education for all children, teachers in “Guomen Schools” are trained to possess a special awareness of national security, expertise, the capacity to handle diversity, and skills. Furthermore, the development of “Guomen Schools” is expected to play an important role in China’s active participation in global governance. High-quality “Guomen Schools” can be offered to the residents of China and its neighbors as public goods in border regions and can be linked to building a “community of human destiny” through education. However, regional governments and others must consider striking a sufficient balance between providing such public goods and implementing education on national security in border areas. Border studies have shown the concept of “permeability” may change depending on social conditions in the border region. Based on the results of this study, it can be assumed that the current status of the “Guomen School” may also change in the context of China’s changing strategies of “economic development,” “poverty reduction,” “national revival,” and “building a community of human destiny.” Investigating these transformations through fieldwork is a future task of this study. Furthermore, to capture the diversity of border areas, it is necessary to conduct research on “Guomen Schools” in diverse border regions of China through joint research between comparative education researchers. lobby exhibition called “National Ainu Museum 2020” was held on the first floor of the museum. This exhibition introduced the history of the establishment of NAM and the history of Lake Poroto, where the museum is located. Through the “National Ainu Museum 2020” exhibition, we were able to show the historical process leading up to the establishment of the museum. However, due to the limited exhibition space available, there was little room for detailed commentary about the exhibition. Therefore, the connection between historical events could only be understood from the chronological table provided. Another issue is that the exhibition was only about history, so it does not display the nature and characteristics of the museum, which is still a challenge for NAM that lies ahead of us.