On 24th March 2018, Linyi County an opening ceremony for the One College Student Per Village Programme and the First Batch of Students for the Degree Enhancement Project of Rural 'Two Committees (village Party branch committee and villager’s committee)' Key Members" was held.

Three hundred and forty six key members officially became OUC "farmer college students.” The county intends to spend three to five years cultivating key members in order to improve their education degree, helping over 80% of them reach junior college education or above.

Recently, in order to address the situation that key members of the "two committees" have relatively poor education background and quality, Linyi county focused on the demand for improving the "village, farmer, and agriculture" team in "boosting the implementation of the rural revitalisation strategy.” The One College Student Per Village Programme and the Degree Enhancement Project of Rural 'Two Committees' Key Members was first launched in Yuncheng, Shanxi, with the aim of organising rural cadres to go to university and receive continuing education. On 30th January, Linyi and Yuncheng RTVU signed an agreement on education degree enhancement for Linyi rural "two committees" key members. This marked the official implementation of education degree enhancement for "two committees" key members of 375 administrative villages in this county.

The county had previously carried out an investigation into the basic situation of "two committees" key members in various towns and villages. According to the survey, the number of key members who have obtained a junior college degree or above is only 20, accounting for 3.1% of the total "two committees" key members in the whole county.

This project enrols students twice a year, with the teaching schedule implemented by Yuncheng RTVU according to the OUC's teaching plan. The school system for the project lasts 2.5 years. When the students have studied all the courses required for the teaching plan and passed the exam, they are allowed to graduate and obtain a junior college degree graduation certificate issued by the OUC. The certificate is acknowledged by the county and can be queried online through the China Credentials Verification website (http://www.chsi.com.cn/en/). The county provides a tuition subsidy of RMB 2,000, with an exemption of RMB 1,500 from the RTVU. The student only needs to pay RMB 1,800.

Students can study both online and offline through a combination of theory and practice, online autonomous learning, and key-point tutoring. Each course will be evaluated by the final exam and homework assessment. The head teacher will track and supervise the students' learning situation, providing support for the students and ensuring the teaching quality.

The teaching contents focus on the "village, farmer, and agriculture" situation, including the demand to build a beautiful countryside, the need for industrial development, and the call for the reconstruction of agriculture at the supply side for rural cadres. In order to cater to their actual situation, the school has launched majors such as Agriculture Economics Management, Rural Policies and Rules, Rural Environmental Protection, Modern Agriculture, Cash Tree Cultivation, and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary. It aims to cultivate a batch of grassroots cadres that are knowledgeable, understand technology, and good at business operation, laying a solid foundation for "rural, farmer, and agriculture" work and promoting rural revitalisation.

“We need to bring learning to the towns and villages, bring classroom teaching to the rural grassroots, and bring teaching practice to the field, in order to make sure that the academic degree enhancement project supports agriculture and benefits farmers and their families,” the head of Yuncheng RTVU said.

"Linyi is a great agricultural county, with a relatively large population. This 'Village, farmer, and agriculture' work is an important component of building a new Linyi. The quality of rural 'two committees' key members directly affects the implementation of the rural revitalisation strategy. The implementation of this project will transform traditional professional development models, helping key members cater to the demands of the new rural situation and achieve new results in 'village, farmer, and agriculture' work,” Yu Pengfei, Party secretary of Linyi county, said.

"The 19th CPC National Congress stressed that agriculture and rural areas should be a development priority, cultivating and building a team of members that understands agriculture and is committed to farmers and rural areas. This has imposed new requirements on the capabilities and qualities of key members. This project is essential and should be carried out in a timely manner,” Zhang Jianxiang, party secretary of Nipo Village, Beixin Town, said.

By Fan Junfeng and Wang Jie, Shanxi Yuncheng RTVU