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    Museums could play educational role for schools, guidance says

    By WANG KAIHAO | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-10-22 07:54
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    Parents and children visit the marine exhibition at the Chongqing Museum of Natural History in August. [Photo provided to China Daily]

    Museums can be an expansion to schools and better benefit elementary and high school students' growth, a new national guidance policy shows.

    The Ministry of Education and the National Cultural Heritage Administration co-released a document on Monday to illustrate a better use of museum resources for the school sector.

    As the document states, schools are urged to design new activities related to history, natural science and technology, based on collections in local museums. Syllabuses of courses like Chinese, history, geography, fine arts, physics, chemistry, biology, among others, will include museum content. Various educational goals will be set for students in different grades.

    More extracurricular activities after 3:30 pm are encouraged to feature museums, according to the document. Not only guided tours to venues, but also creative formats like lectures, role-play games, and comic books on museums, are needed to increase student interest.

    Training programs for teachers will involve relevant content, and better coordination concerning different departments of local governments will follow to ensure financial support and proper evaluation of the educational activities related to museums.

    "We've seen many good examples of making full use of museums as 'classes' in recent years," Luo Jing, director of the museum and social relics department of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, explains. "And it matches the needs of school education to explore the resources of museums on a deeper level."

    Luo points out that the new document aims to develop new channels making use of museums in school education.

    "The focus remains on how to help students study better at school," Luo says. "But the museum-related activities can be more interactive, attractive and immersive."

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