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Linguistic Rights of Minorities in Education in International Instruments and Chinese Legislation
September 29,2016   By:chinahumanrights.org
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Hao Wanyuan (photo: Zhao Yifan)

Linguistic Rights of Minorities in Education in International Instruments and Chinese Legislation
 
Hao Wanyuan*

Research Assistant to Human Rights Center of Renmin University of China
 
Introduction
 
Education is of utmost importance for the preservationand facilitation of the culture and identity for all human beings. In the global context, persons belonging to the minorities are easilymarginalized in this realm. Institutional obstacles for minorities in the existing education systems can be found across the world.Linguistic minorities have to acquire knowledge through the official language(s) or the majority language which they could not be very familiar with. It does not mean that it is not good for the minorities to acquire knowledge through the official language(s) which is not their mother tongue, but in order to better protect their linguistic rights, it is important to provide mother tongue instruction and bi-lingual education which will contribute to a society with diversification. According to Rita Izsak, the special rapporteuron the rights of linguistic minorities, “minority languages are frequently not allowed to be used in national or local administration or as the language of instruction in schools.”1 “Increasing amounts of research indicates that the dominant-language medium education for children without a sufficient command of that language does not always succeed, and it can leave pupils less than fully fluent in both their mother tongue and the dominant language,and prone to underachievement in the class.”2 “Official languages-only educational programmes can “cost about 8% less per year than mother-tongue schooling, but the total cost of educating a student through the six-year primary circle is about 27% more, largely because of the difference in repetition and dropout rates.”3 The right to education is a right essential to everyone, as to the minorities, however, “it is also instrumental as a precondition for the full enjoyment of many other rights, such as the right to participation, expression, association, etc.4 This article begins with the overview of the evolution of the international human rights instruments in the protection of linguistic rights for the minorities in education. I will draw upon the general principles and the specific international instruments provided for the minorities. The international standards, European standards and Chinese domestic legislation will be elaborated in details. 
 
I. Key Definitions
 
1.Minorities and Linguistic Rights
Before elaborating the linguistic rights, we need to understand who are the linguistic minorities under international law. Although there is no universal definition of minorities in any human rights instruments since the definition vary from country to country. “The term minority as used in the United Nations human rights system usually refers to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, pursuant to the United Nations Minority Declaration.” 5 According to Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Sub-commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, a minority is :
 
A group numerically inferior to the rest of the population of a State, in a non-dominant position, whose members -being nationals of the State-possess ethnic, religious or linguistic characteristics differing from those of the rest of the population and show, if only implicitly, a sense of solidarity, directed towards preserving their culture, traditions, religion or language. 6
 
It is addressed that any definition must include both the objective factors( such as the existence of a shared ethnicity, language or religion) and subjective factors ( including that individual must identity themselves as members of a minority.7  Therefore, a certain group of people which is identified as minority should be composed of a certain amount of population and possess its unique characteristics in the realm of culture including belief, language, life style, etc. These people may live in a shared community or scatter at different regions, however, they must meet both the objective and subjective requirements. However, a certain group of people are recognized as majorities in one region of the nation does not mean that they are the majorities across  the nation and vice-versa. For example, in some Chinese rural areas of the national autonomous regions in China, the minority nationalities are the majority who dominant the region, however, taking into account of the large population of Han Chinese, they are still the minorities. “Persons belonging to groups solely defined as linguistic minorities might similarly be held to have only those special minority rights which are related to education and use of language.” 8 With the existence of linguistic minorities, language inequality and imbalance emerging, which means that the utilization and availability of minority language facing the risk of declining. The potential danger exists in a great number of the countries with linguistic diversity. “In those countries with bilingual and multilingual contexts, that is, the presence of different linguistic groups living in the same country, are the norm rather than the exception throughout the world, both in the North and the South.”9 “The concept of linguistic diversity itself is relative, however, and is usually measured in terms of national boundaries, giving some languages the status of majority language and others that of minority languages according to the specific national context.”10 The European Charter for Regional or Minority Language, in its part I defines “regional or minority languages” as those language that are “traditionally used within a given territory of a State by nationals that State who from a group numerically smaller than the rest of the State’s population; and different from the official language(s) of that State.” 11 Although the definition of the linguistic minorities varies, the essence of the linguistic rights are universal. It is well recognized by the international communities that linguistic minorities should have the right to learn their own language and to communicate in their language in private or public life domain. To ensure the exercise of all these rights, education shall be put highly on the agenda.
 
2.Linguistic Rights in Education
 
The Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights (UDLR) is adopted in 1996 in order to correct linguistic imbalances and to ensure the respect and full development of all languages and establish the principles for a just and equitable linguistic education throughout the world as a key factor in the maintenance of harmonious social relations. 12Although it is not a binding instrument for the States, it provides guidelines for the protection of linguistic rights of the minorities in education. In its article 3(2), it established the right for the linguistic communities to be taught through their own languages and culture. Although, it is not tailored specially for the minorities, the principles are equally applied to linguistic minorities.In the education section of UDLR, article 26 States:
“All language communities are entitled to an education which will enable their members to acquire full commend of their own language, including the different abilities relating to all the usual spheres of use, as well as the most extensive possible commend of any other language they may wish to know.”
 
In addition, in the international agreements, linguistic rights for the minorities include the following elements13 :
1. Schooling in their languages, if so desired;
2. Access to the language of the larger community and to that of national education systems;
3.Inter-cultural education that promotes positive attitudes to minority languages and the culture they express;
 
3.Mother Tongue and Mother Tongue Instruction
 
“Definitions of mother tongue often include the following elements: the language(s) that one learnt first; the language(s) one identifies with or is identified as a native speaker of by others; the language(s) one uses most.” 14“Mother tongue instruction generally refers to the use of the learners’ mother tongue as the medium of instruction and the expert view is that mother tongue instruction should cover both the teaching of and the teaching through this language.” 15There are many benefits in learning through one’s mother tongue. Studies show that learners who first learn reading and writing in their mother tongue have a better command of a foreign language in its written and oral mode.16  The promotion of mother tongue instruction in education for the linguistic minorities does not mean to discard other teaching methods involving the official(s) languages. “If a minority language is only used as medium of instruction for a few years in the initial years of education, gradual increase in the amount of teaching in later years in the non-minority language leads to better pedagogical results where this is practicable.”17  This teaching method is designed in order to strike the balance of education for all and better protect the rights of the linguistic minorities.
 
II. Minorities’ Linguistic Rights Protection in Education at International Level
 
The right to education is recognized as one of the fundamental human rightssince the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The international community, such as the United Nations, has been devoting efforts in this realm. The protection of the linguistic rights of the minorities in education can be defined into two approaches. Firstly, it is based on the principles of non-discrimination and equality among all humankind. Particularly, the right to education for all in a equal and non-discrimination manner is enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Secondly, the fulfillment of the linguistic rights of the minorities in education is rooted in the specific protection for the minorities to preserve the minorities’ culture and identities, to prevent forced assimilation and to promote the maintenance of the peacefuldevelopment among a diversified society. In this stage, the international human rights instruments pay more attention to the value of social inclusion and the recognition of the historical and cultural contribution and importance of the minorities. The two approaches are interrelated and interdependent. The evolution of the linguistic rights of the minorities in education has also reflected in the changes of States’ attitudes from a passive manner to a more pro-active manner.
 
1.The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
 
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights ( hereafter UDHR) was adopted in 1948. Article 26 (2) of the UDHR established the principles providing everyone the right to education, which aimed to the full development of human personality. The UDHR, as it is well known, sets out the principle of non-discrimination on the ground of language, but it does not recognize any language right.18  At the outset, the protection of linguistic rightsof the minorities in education was not addressed directly. All the human rights instruments proclaim the prohibition of any kind of discrimination based on languages. The principles of non-discrimination and equality are serving as the footing for the protection of the minorities in every aspect of life including education.The principle of equality does not imply uniform treatment in the field of education regardless of circumstances, but rather that differential treatment of individual and groups is justified when specified circumstances warrant it, so that the right to equal treatment is also violated when States, without permissible justification, fail to treat differently persons whose situations are significantly different. 19“Non-discrimination implies that persons belonging to minorities should not be treated differently in the field of education solely on the basis of their particular ethnic, religious or cultural characteristics, unless there are permissible criteria to justify such distinctions, including criteria set out in specific instruments on minority rights.” 20 Thus, the education system in a country with linguistic diversity should adopt some special measures for the linguistic minorities in order to ensure equal quality education for all and to combat obstacles facing by the minorities. These different policies or measures are reasonable considerations in order to avoid the same measures for all without taking into account of different situations. However, due to the variety of different languages between the majorities and the minorities, the right to education for linguistic minorities seems too ambiguous and weak. For instance, there is no reference to what kind of education should linguistic minority be entitled to obtain and what the differences between the mainstream education and the education for linguistic minorities are. Education can be a tool to assimilate minorities into the majority culture and also can be a way to help the minorities to preserve their unique cultures and languages. The term of “full development of human personality” can also be a basis of addressing the linguistic rights in education for the minorities. Since language, as one of the main elements of human identity,is crucial for the development of human personality, especially for minorities.“Although article 26 does not elaborate the linguistic rights for the minorities, it set the tone of openness and inclusiveness for the subsequent international instruments which have emerged over time and have confirmed and further elaborated the right to education both generally and with reference to national minorities specifically.”21 
 
2.The Convention against Discrimination in Education
 
The adoption of the Convention against Discrimination in Education in 1960 concentrates on preventing any kind of discrimination in education and it came into force in 1962.22  It contains the provisions specifically for the minorities, for example, Article 5 (c) provides:
“It is essential to recognize the right of members of minorities to carry on their own educational activities, including the maintenance of schools and, depending on the educational policy of each State, the use of the teaching of their own language…”
 
The instrument is aimed not only to eliminate discrimination in the realm of education, but also to promote equality of opportunity and treatment.23 The Convention makes it clear that the use of minority languages in teaching and the maintenance of their own schools are guaranteed in order to forbid discrimination against minorities. “The ability of a minority to create and operate private schools where the minority language is used as the medium of instruction is one of great importance but one where, strictly speaking, non-discrimination would not be of much assistance, especially if the establishment of such private schools were forbidden.”24 “In light of the Convention, by discrimination in education is understood as “ any distinction, exclusion, limitation or preference which, being based on...language, as the purpose of depriving any person or group of persons to education of any type or at any level; of establishing or maintaining separate educational systems or institutions for persons or groups of persons…”25 Therefore, the minorities are entitled not only to obtain the equal opportunity and treatment in the existing education system in order to fully enjoy their linguistic rights, but also entitled to operate their own educational institutions as needed.
 
These values are also reflected in the following international instruments: the 1965 Convention on the Elimination of Racial discrimination, the 1995 Declaration and Integrated Framework of Action on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy (Article29)26 ; the 1989Convention on Rights of the Child(Article 28- 30 ) 27and the 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (Article 6)28 .  29Under those instruments, there is a need for a balance between receiving an education which places great emphasis on minority interests, and the need to be taught subjects which can be of use to the minorities for later life. 30 The States have the obligation to take affirmative measures to combat the discriminatory education system and create an equal environment for the minorities.
 
3. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
 
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) was adopted in 1966 and in 1976 it came into force. Article 27 deals with the minority issues, which provides:
“In those States in which ethic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to use their own language.” 
 
It concentrates on the use of the minority languages, profess and practice of the religion and the enjoyment of the culture. Language, in particular, is a potent vehicle of culture. 31 It is submitted that the linguistic minorities need some use of their native languages during their primary education in order to prevent future discrimination. 32The linguistic rights in education thus can be interpreted as the means of preserve the culture. From this perspective, the States’ attitudes towards minority protection are focusmainly on no interference with their exercise of the rights to enjoy their own culture, religion and language. The wording of “shall not be denied” reflects a kind of passive attitude towards the minority protection. Therefore, an effective education for these people shall be called a linguistic right rather than a classical human right.33The protection of the linguistic rights of the minorities in education still remain unclear and inadequate.
 
4 . The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
 
TheInternational Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted in 1966was inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It came into force in 1976. As the second generation of human rights, it grants the right to education a more prominent position. The core principles of international human rights law are fully applicable to the right to education and should be faithfully implemented by States. 34 The role of education can be defined from both economic and culture dimension. “Through education as an economic tool, one can gain knowledge and skills to lift himself/ herself out of poverty, and as a culture function, education is closely linked to identity, including the respect for and the preservation of culture, language, religion and values.”35 The right of everyone to enjoy their own culture is intrinsically linked to the right to education, Article 13 and 14, through which individuals and communities pass on their values, religion, customs, language and other cultural references, and which helps to foster an atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect for culture values. 36This right is of greater value in terms of the linguistic minorities. In this stage, more concrete and detailed obligations are required for the States in implementing the international human rights standards. Necessary conditions for the full realization of the right of everyone to take part in cultural life on the basis of equality and non- discrimination are recommended as the 5-A key elements37  in UN documents includes accessibility, availability, acceptability, adaptability and appropriateness.38 States should strive to achieve, progressively, the full realization of minority language education rights to the maximum of their available resources, including through international assistance and cooperation in the spirit of Article 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 39 Although more detailed principles and States’ obligations for the protection of the right to education of the minorities can be found in ICESCR, it is still not that effective in minority linguistic rights protection in education. Given the increasing awareness of the protection of the minorities, more specific principles for the linguistic minorities are needed in the international community.   
 
5. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities
 
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minoritiesadopted in 1992is tailored to the protection of the minorities. It established the States’ responsibility to foster minority languages by requiring governments not only to “protect” the “linguistic identity of minorities” but also to “encourage conditions for the promotion of that identity.”40 Education and linguistic rights are highlighted in the Declaration. Article 2 guarantees the enjoyment of the culture and the use of minority languages without discrimination. The voices to be heard in the decision making process and the right to establish their own educational institutions are also further addressed. In terms of education, the history, traditions, languages and culture of the minorities must be reflected. Intercultural or multicultural education is encouraged to achieve the goals. “Multicultural education involves educational policies and practices which meet the separate educational needs of groups in society belonging to different cultural traditions, while intercultural education involves educational policies and practices whereby persons belonging to different cultures, whether in a majority position, learn to interact constructively with each other.”41 “Multicultural education, entailing the use of languages such as: the mother tongue, a regional or national language and an international language, is necessary to acquiring knowledge and different levels of competencies.”42 This further step makes it possible to achieve the realization of de facto and de jure equality between minority and majority culture in education. Professor Patrick Thornberry, Rapporteur of the Forum on Minority Issues and Member of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, has highlighted the key points of the “Draft Recommendations on Minorities and the Right to Education”, pointing out thateducation is a human right and must be implemented in a humanrights-friendly manner. 43The inclusion of the minority culture and traditions in education illustrates thatlinguistic minorities would embrace a broader dimension of education, which will benefit the minorities in the understanding and utilizing of their mother tongue and the interaction between the minority languages and the official languages. 
 
“It is believed that bad education strategies can violate human rights as much as good strategies enhance rights and freedoms.” 44The recommendations of international human rights instruments have set out minimum standards for the States to take appropriate measures to carry out effective education strategies for the minorities. An effective education strategy requires the States to approach the education for minorities in a positive spirit, which needs both legislationand practical supports. The essential requirements include e.g. budgetary policies 45 for minority needs, programmes for minorities education, educational services, recruitment and training of minority teachers, inter-cultural training for all teachers and staff, proper curriculum and equal access to quality education for the minorities. “School languages regimes for the initial stages of education in States schools should ideally employ the language of the child as the predominant medium of instruction, with a gradual introduction of the State language or dominant local language, if different from that of the child, at a later stage, where possible by bilingual teachers sensitive to the culture backgrounds of minority children.” 46 The recommendations also encourage the whole population are provided opportunities to learn minority languages and thereby contribute to the strengthening of tolerance and cultural interchange within the States.
 
Under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, educational strategies are formulated to ensure the fully development of the minorities in all aspects. Linguistic rights are guaranteed directly through the initiation of intercultural and multicultural education. The Declaration, together with its recommendations brings the supportive measures to balance the languages use and knowledge acquisition for the minorities. 
 
IV.Minorities’ Linguistic Rights Protection in Education at European Level
 
The European Union is one of the areas with rich linguistic diversity. It has put great emphasis on minority rights protection and linguistic diversity preservation. The Copenhagen Criteria47  makes it a requirement that in order to join the European Union, accession countries have to satisfy the requirement of “respect for and protection of minority rights”. 48The requirements and the spirits of minority protection contribute to the development of the legislation in linguistic rights of the minorities in education. Later in 1993, a series of consultations of experts from various pertinent disciplines was facilitate in order to support the High Commissioner on National Minorities of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe including meetings in Oslo and the Hague respectively.  49The fruitful results of the two meetings was the Oslo Recommendations and the Hague Recommendations which set forth guidelines for the States to implement the duty to guarantee the linguistic rights of the national minorities. The recommendations not only reinforce the principles of equality between all man kind regardless of languages and the non-discrimination principle which calls for no preference and unreasonable distinction based on languages, but also elaborate the freedom of expression through one’s own language. All the linguistic rights can not be fully enjoyed without language education. The Hague Recommendations, in particular, focus on the education rights of the minorities. It provides the measures for States to take proactive actions for linguistic rights in education for the minorities, including resources allocation, minorities’ participation, public and private institution policy making and curriculum development.
 
The European Charter of Fundamental Rights (2000) confirms the EU shall respect linguistic diversity in its Article 22. 50Although the linguistic rights in education are not clearly mentioned in Article 14 which declares the right to education, the combination of Article 14 and Article 22 would legitimate the recognition of the linguistic rights in education. 
 
1. European Convention on Human Rights and Minority Linguistic Rights
 
The European Convention on Human Rights, adopted in 1950 and came into force in 1953, like other human rights instruments, confirming the principles of equality and non-discrimination based on languages and safeguarding the right to education. The right to education was provided in Article 2 of protocol 1 which States:
“No one shall be denied the right to education. In exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.”
 
The provision reiterates the conformity of education and the right of the parents in order to fully respect and develop the convictions and other cultural needs of their own.
 
The most famous case decided by the European Court of Human Rights relating to linguistic rights was the Belgium Linguistic Case.51  The applicants were French speakers living in Dutch-speaking area. According to Belgium’s legislation, the language of education in unilingual region (where the majority speaks one of the two official language—French and Dutch were designated as “unilingual”) shall be the language of the region.52 The government refused to establish or subsidize schools that did not meet the linguistic requirements. The court found the violations of article 2 and Article 14 of the protocol. 53The court held that there was no rational basis to justify the discriminatory treatment of the French-speaking children founded upon their language.54 It also noted that the linguistic legislation prevents certain children, solely on the basis of the residence of their parents, from having access to the French- language school. 55
 
Another well-known caseCyprus v. Turkey also deals with the linguistic rights of minorities in education.56  The applicant Government averred that the children of Greek Cypriots living in northern Cyprus were denied secondary-education facilities, and thatGreek-Cypriot parents of children of secondary-school age were in consequence denied the right to ensuretheir children's education in conformity with their religious and philosophical convictions. 57Article 2 of the ECHR was referred to the court. Thecourt found that the closer of Greek-medium education in secondary schools amounted to a denial of the substance of the right to education,as it was unrealistic to expect Greek-speaking students from Greek-medium primary schools to be able to switch to Turkish -or English -medium secondary schools. 58The underlying principle could potentially be applied to cases in which children from a linguistic minority who do not speak the language of the school are forced into majority -language education. 59
 
The two cases better indicate the obstacles in the existing education system facing be the linguistic minorities. The court’s judgment reveals the balance of the interests between the public policy and minorities’ rights. From the merits of the judgment, we could see that the linguistic minorities’ expectations to get access to the mother tongue education is reasonable and shall be safeguarded.
 
2. The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
 
The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages was adopted in 1992 for the protection of minority languages.It is a binding instrument for the States who have ratified it. The main purpose of the Charter is to preserve the linguistic diversity in Europe. And it allows each State that ratifies it to specify which minority or regional languages it wants to include within the scope of the Charter. “The scope of application to languages is those languages that are traditionally used within a given territory of a State by nationals of that State who from a group numerically smaller than the rest of the State’s population and are different from the official language(s) of the State.” 61The Charter established the comprehensive strategies in various fields to achieve the goals, including the objectives and principles, specific actions in supporting the use of languages, legal obligations for departments and associated bodies. As an example, Article 8 of the Charter elaborates that the States undertake the obligation to make available education, including pre-school, primary school, secondary school, technical and vocational schools, university, and adult education, in the relevant regional or minority languages. In addition, supervisory bodies are also required to monitor the measures and progresses in establishing or developing the teaching of regional or minority languages. “Parties undertake, if the number of users of a regional or minority language justifies it, to allow, encourage or provide teaching in or of the regional or minority language at all the appropriate stages of education.” 62 Several factors ought to be considered when examining the sufficiency of numbers of speakers in a territory, such as the geographical location, the availability of transportation and the age of the children. “63The Charter has managed to transform language policy in a number of States and in that process it has empowered minority language communities to insist on their rights and to press for an improved legislation and better institutional arrangements.”  64Thus, the Charter is a language protection instrument through which, the educational policies are carried out mainly for the minority language preservation and development. 
 
3. The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
 
Adopted by the committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, on November 10, 1994, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities is the most comprehensive multilateral treaty devoted to minority rights. 65 As the Framework Convention was intended as an addition to existing human and minority rights protection, it must be read in relation to other human rights instruments, such as the European Convention on Human Rights.66 The Framework Convention established the principles of the right of equality and equal protection before the law and highlighted the great importance of linguistic rights in education. Article 12 provides that the State parties undertake the responsibility to take measures to foster the culture and languages of both the national minorities and the majorities, aiming at the promotion of multicultural education and the spirit of tolerance. Adequate opportunities for the training of the teachers and the accessing to other related facilitates, equal access to education at all level for the national minorities are required. Article 13 guarantees the right of national minorities to set up their own educational institutions without entailing financial obligation for the Stats parties. This right is an important alternative, or sort of “defend mechanism” by which the minorities, can turn to if the public education system does not satisfy their needs.67 In terms of languages, the right to learn the minority language, the right to learn official language and the right to have instruction in mother tongue are provided under article 14. However, the obligation under article 14 is limited to area inhabited by minorities traditionally or in large numbers, and only if there is sufficient demand. 68States parties are expected to recognize those rights in their legal and educational systems, “even if this does not automatically entail an economic responsibility for the provision of such education in all circumstances”. 69Any policies or measures which may results in assimilation of the minorities will be prevented. 
 
V. Minorities’ Linguistic Rights Protection in Education in China
 
Equality and non-discrimination principles are enshrined in China’s legislation, such as the Constitution, Procedural Laws, Educational Laws and local legislation. The Law on Regional National Autonomy is a minority-specific law tailored for the rights of the national minorities and the governments’ responsibilities to them. 70 Although the legal principles are available, great challenges emerging due to the domestic migrants movement and the fast growing economy which require the government to fulfill the oblations to meet the higher expectations from the minorities. Policy-making which will have impact on the life of the minorities are expected to be more cautious and more thorough with respect to the minorities concerned. With the improvement of China’s international influence, more are more attentions are paid to how China’s policy will contribute to a better world domestically and internationally. With respect to the minorities, it is of great importance for Chinese government to better address the ethnic-based issues and fulfill the international obligations. 
 
Some Advise of the State Council on Further Prospering and Developing the Culture Cause of Ethnic Minorities adopted in 2009 stipulates the guideline for minorities cultural development in China. It put great emphasis on the significant roles of the cultures of the minorities, which enrich and contribute to the vitality and the creativity of Chinese culture as a whole.71  It also pointed out the challenges existing in the minority culture industry, including the backward infrastructure and poor culture services, the imperfection institutions and the shortage of talents, which prevent the fully development of linguistic rights of the minorities in education system. The reality is that since some minorities are gathering in the least developed areas in China, it is hard to attract the talented professionals to dedicate the energy for minority education. According to the State’s plan, by 2020, culture infrastructure in ethnic minorities regions will be fully accomplished, the difficulties of the people of ethnic minorities in reading books......will be protected, carried forward and advocated.  72 It is not hard to imagine that the minorities are still facing great challenges in illiteracy reduction and culture empowerment. 
 
1. The Constitutional Framework
 
In China’s Constitution, the principles of equality and non-discrimination based on ethnicity enshrined in article 4  73 and article 3374 , which elaborate that the minorities’ rights and interests are equally protected under the law and the minorities are entitled to enjoy the freedom of developing their own language and preserve their own customs. It is also stipulates that the State promotes the nationwide use of Putonghua(Mandarin). 75We could find out that according to the law, the minorities are guaranteed the opportunities to develop their own languages and use of the Mandarin at the same time. The right to education is provided in article 46, which articulates that every citizen has the right to education and the States shall promote the all-around development of children and the young. 76 In the minorities autonomous region, there are ethnic schools at all levels ranging from primary schools to universities. These ethnic schools provide the education of minority languages and cultures. With respect to the national education policy, the Ministry of Education of China continues the policy to provide favorable scoring in the college entrance examination for the minorities. 77 Normally the minorities can obtain 10 or 20 additional marks in their final score of the college entrance examination which means that they may able to apply for a better university with these additional marks. Because of the huge number of candidates who take the examination, the final score bears critical significance which might effect the destiny of a candidate. Sometimes only 1 mark can make a big change. The special policy seems to be a favorable treatment for the minorities, however, it is actually a strategy to ensure the equal education rights and to strike the balance of the minority and the majority candidate in the national education system.  
 
2. The Law on Regional National Autonomy
 
The Law on Regional National Autonomy has a specific clause on the linguistic rights of the minorities. The rights of the minorities to be educated in the languages that they choose to and the freedom to establish and develop ethnic-based education plan are protected by Article 3678   and Article 37 79. These articles provide the mandatory education for the minorities aiming at eliminating illiteracy through minority and Mandarin language instruction.
 
According to the Provisions of the State Council on the Implementation of the Law on Regional National Autonomy, the State shall provide support to minority education cause, including financial support, the improvement of education condition, recruitment of minority graduates, etc. With respect to minority language education, the State encourages all ethnic groups in the ethnic autonomous regions to learn languages from each other and to gradually polularize the “ bilingual teaching” i.e. teaching in minority language and Chinese, supporting the publishing of the textbooks and foster bilingual teachers, etc. 80 As stated above, the ethnic schools recruit both Han Chinese and the minorities, with a preference of minority candidates, adopt bi-lingual education teaching method. In 2014, there were 325443 Mongolia Chinese enrolled in primary school, 160267 in Middle school, 121980 in high school and 93557 in universities. 81 The enrollment percentage of Mongolian Chinese from primary school to universities are 25%,24%, 25% and 23%. In 2014, in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, the numbers of the enrollment of Uighur are 1381500 in primary schools, 597622 in middle schools, 218218 in high schools and 129697 in universities.82  Until 2015, 90% of the minorities in Xinjiang can get access to bilingual education and during the last five years, in primary and middle schools, bilingual education can cover 70% of the minority students, which is a huge improvement compare to 34% in 2010. 83
 
3. Education Law
 
Receiving education is both the right and the obligation for every Chinese citizens under the education law. Article 2 stipulates that all citizens regardless of ethnic origins have the equal opportunity to education. 84  According to Article 10, the State shall provide assistance to promote the development of the education in the regions inhabited by the minorities in light of the specific context and needs.85  In the schools and the institutions which are dominated by the minorities, bilingual education shall be guaranteed. 86 However, due to the language policy, the State and the local government shall take measures to popularize Mandarin as the standard spoken and written language. 87Although the Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language endorses the language rights of the linguistic minorities, there are no detailed provisions in this realm. It refers to the Law on Regional National Autonomy for the minorities’ language policy. Therefore, the education law does not provide clear guideline for the education of the minorities but left them to the local governments, especially the governments of the minorities autonomous regions.
 
4. Possible Improvement for China’s Linguistic Policy
 
A. Legislation
 
Chinese domestic legislation should fully guarantee the legal rights of the linguistic minorities. As it is set forth in the international instruments, minorities should have full access to both the official language(s) and the minorities' languages. No restrictions could be allowed in terms of minorities languages education, either as medium of instruction or language of administration of such schools. 88 Consequently, there shall be more specific and comprehensive language policies in terms of education for both the majorities and the minorities. In particular, there should be national guidelines and the implementation mechanism to provide evaluation and review methods to help the autonomous regions to implement the language policies in Chinese Laws. The board of implementation mechanisms should be required to reflect the diversity of the society and be presented by both the majorities and the minorities. The minorities should have a say when discussing the policies that might have an effect on their linguistic rights and their opinions should be weighted with special attentions. As a result, it is of great importance to ensure the minorities are involved in the education ministries and the management level of the educational institutions. The quota of the minority representatives should be made in law. Effective mechanism should also play a role to redress the situations of violation of linguistic rights of the minorities. The redresses should also be clearly elaborated in the relevant laws or policies. 
 
B. Implementation in Education 
 
Both the international instruments and Chinese domestic laws respect and guarantee the right of the linguistic minorities to receive mother tongue and bi-lingual education. However, the international instruments recommend to adopt mother tongue education in early education such as in primary schools and gradually introduce the bi-lingual education to the linguistic minorities. The Chinese law also provide legal protection for the linguistic minorities to obtain mother tongue education, but the bilingual education starts at a very early stage. The minorities themselves can choose if they want to go to a mainstream school with only Mandarin instruction or a ethnic school with bi-lingual education. However, according to the survey in Thailand, where primary grade 1 ( age 6-7) children taught in their own language (Malay) scored an average of 40% better in reading, mathematics, social studies, and Thai language skills than children in the Thai-only public school. 89  Hence, for primary education, the linguistic minorities shall be encouraged to obtain bi-lingual education rather than Mandarin-only schools. 
 
In addition to public education, the government should also support private education if it is a reasonable request by the minorities, which means that there should be sufficient reasons to justify the request. Sine the private education may be more flexible and better meet the needs of the minorities in exercising their linguistic rights. The local governments enjoy the margin of appreciation when deciding what  standards should be set out and how much resource should be provided to the minorities. However, any support given to private educational facilities must however, comply with the prohibition of discrimination: State support for only minority schools teaching in particular languages could violate this fundamental principle and be discriminatory if the difference in treatment between languages is neither reasonable nor justified.  90A good example is Malaysia which ensure the private high schools using Mandarin as the medium of instruction since 1960s and public minorities also teach in this minorities language.91    China should also support the establishment of private schools and educational institutions for the minorities to learn their mother tongue, Mandarin and other languages. Educational institutions should provide sufficient and effective opportunities for the majorities to acquire the languages of the minorities.
 
Conclusion
 
Linguistic minorities can be found in almost every country in the world. They possess unique languages as one of the distinctive elements of ethnic identity. The linguistic rights play a critical role not only in respecting and protecting the rights of the linguistic minorities, but also in better guaranteeing other civil and political rights. Among the linguistic rights, the right to be taught in one’s mother tongue and be educated through bi-lingual education method are of great significance in promoting education quality and performances for the linguistic minorities.Instruction in one’s mother tongue can justifiably be said to be “of central importance for the preservation of the language and tradition of the culture conveyed through it to subsequent generations, because a linguistic population group cannot hold on to its identity unless the use of its language for education purposes is guaranteed. 92 However, in the global context, many of the linguistic minorities are still living in then areas with limited access to education and inadequate mother tongue instruction. In China, some linguistic minorities are living in the undeveloped areas where the education facilities and services are poor and limited. The minorities are facing challenges in exercising their linguistic rights.
 
As demonstrated in the previous sections, many international human rights instruments at both the UN and European level have been adopted in order to protect minority rights. These instruments all underline that the right to maintain the collective identity through the minority language must be balanced by the responsibility to integrate and participation in the wider national society. 93The adequate protection of the linguistic rights of minorities in education is essential in achieving the goals. The aim of the education is to guarantee non-discrimination and equal opportunities as well as to protect and maintain pluralism and the distinctiveness of the minority groups, both through and within the education system. 94States are required to take more active actions in order to adopt further measures and detailed strategies. Only in this way, the minority linguistic rights in education can be fully protected.
 
It is also of great importance to adopt inclusive policy for linguistic minorities to play the full potential of their linguistic advantages. This will in turn promoting the development of linguistic education. As it is shown that the linguistic minorities can perform better at school when they receive mother tongue instructions first and the bi-lingual education in a later stage. More detailed provisions should be designed and implemented by the States to eliminate the obstacles for the linguistic minorities in education. A society without diversity will lose its uniqueness, and a culture loses linguistic diversification will prevent creativity. When the linguistic rights of the minorities are well protected, a promising society with cultural glamour is well established. As a result, the States should obsorb the international standards into the domestic legislation and implement these core guidelines to maintain a diversified society which will benefit everyone within it.




*Research Assistant to Human Rights Center of Renmin University of China. Thanks to the support and guidance of Professor Lu Haina and Professor Suzannah Linton. This is only the first draft of my work and will be revised for publication in the future. It is only limited for using during this conference. 
 
1. Rita Izsak, Report of the independent expert on minority issues, Human Right Council, Nineteeth Session, Agenda item 3, Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development, January 3, 2012, p.8.
 
2. Robert Dunbar, Is There a Duty to Legislation for Linguistic Minorities? Journal of Law and Society, volume 33, No. 1, March 2006. ISSN: 0263-323x, p.188.
 
3. In Their Own Languages, Education for All, http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2007/03/07/000020439_20070307141203/Rendered/PDF/389060Language00of1Instruct01PUBLIC1.pdf. accessed 5 June, 2016.
 
4. Id, n2.
 
5. Who are minorities under international law, Minority Rights: International Standards and Guidance for Implementation, 2010, OHCHR http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Minorities/Pages/internationallaw.aspx
 
6. Minority Rights: International Standards and Guidance for Implementation http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/MinorityRights_en.pdf ,p.2. accessed 5 June, 2016.
 
7. Id.
 
8. Commentary of the Working of the Working Group on Minorities to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National of Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, Economic and Social Council, E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.5/2005/2, p.3.
 
9. Id, p.12.
 
10. Jessica Ball, Enhancing Learning of Children from Diverse Language Backgrounds: Mother Tongue- Based Bilingual or Multilingual Education in the Early Years, Analytical Reviewed Commissioned by the UNESCO Education Sector,2011, p.12.
 
1 Adama Ouane and Christine Glanz, Mother Tongue Literacy in Sub- Saharan Africa, UNESCO Institute for Education, 06 December 2014, p.4.
1. The European Charter for Regional or Minority,Language ,http://languagecharter.coe.int/theCharter.htm(accessed 5 June, 2016.
 
12. Universal Declaration on Linguistic Rights, World Conference on Linguistic Rights, Barcelona, Spain, 9 June 1996, p.3. See: http://www.unesco.org/cpp/uk/declarations/linguistic.pdf (accessed 5 June, 2016.)
 
13. Id, n11, p.4.
 
14. Id, p.13
15. Id.
 
16. Adama Ouane and Christine Glanz, Mother Tongue Literacy in Sub- Saharan Africa, UNESCO Institute for Education, 06 December 2014, p.4.
 
17. Id, n66, p17.
 
18. Andrassy, Gyorgy, Recognizing Language Rights: the Slow and Intricate Progress towards Justice, International Conference on Minority Languages in Pecs, Revised in 2007, p.11.
 
19. Gay McDougall, Report of the independent expert on minority issues, Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Including the Right to Development, Human Rights Council, Tenth Session, Agenda Items, General Assembly, 5 March 2009, p.3.
 
20. Id.
 
21. Iryna Ulasiuk, Comparative Analysis of Educational Rights of National Minorities and Migrants in Europe, Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies Global Governance Programme-69, 2013/80,p.5
 
22. Convention against Discrimination in Education, UNESCO, http://en.unesco.org/ (accessed 10 June, 2016.)
 
23. Summary of the Reports Received from Member States on the Measures Taken to Implement the 1960 Convention and Recommendation Against Discrimination in Education, General Conference 37th Session, Paris, 2013, p.1.
 
24. Iris Kalliopi Boussiakou, The Educational Rights of the Muslim Minority under Greek Law, Citation: 6 JEMIE 1 2007, p.5.
 
25. Ramona Duminica, Andreea Tabacu, Brief Reflection on the Exercise of the Right to Education of the Romany Minority, Citation:2010 Agora Int’l J. Jurid. Sci. xxxiii 2010, p.3.
 
26. Article 29 provides: In order to create understanding between different groups in society, there must be respect for the educational rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, as well as indigenous people, and this must also have implications in the curricula and methods as well as in the wad education is organized.
 
27. Article 28: Children have the right to education . Discipline in schools should respect children’s human dignity; Article 29: Education should develop each child’s personality and talent to the full. It should encourage children to respect their parents, their culture and other culture ;Article 30: Children have the right to learn and use the language and customs of their families, whether or not these are shared by the majority of the people in the country where they live, as long as this does not hurt others.
 
28. Article 6(b): The freedom to teach and to receive teaching of and in one’s language and in other languages, as well as knowledge related to one’s own culture and other cultures; (d): The freedom to establish, to direct and to have moral educational institutions other than those run by the public authorities, on the condition that the internationally- recognized norms and principles in the areas of education are respected and that these institutions conform to the minimum rules prescribes by the State.
 
29. Sources from: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/PublicationsResources/Pages/Publications.aspx (Last visited December 35th ,2014)
 
30. Id, n22.
 
31. Effective Promotion of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, Six-fifth session, Item 69(b) of the provisional agenda, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, General Assembly, 12 August 2010, p.12.
 
32. Christopher J. Reeber, Linguistic Minorities and the Right to an Effective Education, California Western International Law Journal, Vol.3, p .116.
 
33. Id.p.117
 
34.Id, n20.
 
35. Verena Wisthaler, The Right to Education for Minorities: An Overview on Existing Recommendations from the Hague to Geneva, Citation: 8 Eur. Y.B. Minority Issues 123, 2009,p.2.
 
36. General comment No.21, Right of everyone to take in cultural lifehttp://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Education/Training/Compilation/Pages/i)GeneralcommentNo21Rightofeveryonetotakepartinculturallife(article15,para1(a),oftheInternationalCovenantonEconomic,Sociala.aspx (accessed 10 June, 2016.
 
37. General Comment No. 13: The right to education (article 13) (1999)
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Education/Training/Compilation/Pages/d)GeneralCommentNo13Therighttoeducation(article13)(1999).aspxaccessed 10 June, 2016.
 
38. Availability is the presence of cultural goods and services that are open for everyone to enjoy and benefit from, including libraries, museums, languages, customs traditions, history, etc; Accessibility consists of effective and concrete opportunities for individuals and communities to enjoy culture fully, within physical and financial reach for all in both urban and rural areas, without discrimination; Acceptability entails that the laws, policies, strategies, programmes and measures adopted by the State party for the enjoyment of cultural rights should be formulated and implemented in such a way as to be acceptable to the individuals and communities involved; Appropriateness refers to the flexibility and relevance of strategies, policies, programmes and measures adopted by the State party in any area of culture life, which must be respectful of the cultural diversity of individuals and communities; Appropriateness refers to the realization of a specific human right in a way that is pertinent and suitable to a given cultural modality or context, that is, respectful of the culture and cultural rights of individuals and communities, including minorities and indigenous peoples.
 
39. The Hague Recommendations Regarding to the Education Rights of National Minorities and Explanatory Note, International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 4: 199-312, 1997, p. 208.
 
40. Denise Gilman, A “ Bilingual” Approach to Language Rights : How Dialogue Between U.S. and International Human Rights Law May Improve the Language Rights Framework, Harvard Human Rights Journal, Vol.24. p.16.
 
41. Commentary of the Working Group on Minorities to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, Commission on Human Rights, Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, 30 May-3 June,2005, p.15.
 
42. Proposed by Kishore Singh, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education.http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=12832&LangID=Eaccessed 12 June, 2016.
 
43. Ms. Viktoria Mohacsi, Member of the European Parliament, summary by the chairperson of the forum, Item II- International Human Rights Frameworks and Core Principles, Forum on Minority Issues 15 and 16 December 2008 Palais des Naiotns, Geneva. 
 
44. Chaired by Ms. Viktoria Mohacsi, Minority and the Right to Education: Recommendations of the First Session of the Forum on Minority Issues, Held on 15 and 16 December 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland.http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Minority/Pages/Session1.aspxaccessed 12 June, 2016.
 
45. Special Rapporteur on the rights of women in Africa asserted that financial constrains imposed on many national education systems notwithstanding, greater effort should be made to conduct primary and adult education of national minorities in the mother tongue. Effective Promotion of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, Sixty-eighth Session Item 69 (b) of the provision agenda, United Nations General Assembly, 9 August 2013, p.5.http://search.ohchr.org/search?q=Sixty-eighth+Session%2C+linguistic+rights+9+August+2013&btnG=Search&client=default_frontend&output=xml_no_dtd&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&Entqr=0&ud=1&sort=date%3AD%3AL%3Ad1&proxystylesheet=en_frontend&ulang=zh-CN&entqr=3&entqrm=0&wc=200&wc_mc=1&site=default_collectionaccessed 12 June, 2016.
 
46. Chaired by Ms. Viktotia Mohacsi, Minorities and the right to education: Recommendations of the First Session of the Forum on Minority Issues, Held on 15 and 16 December 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland.
 
47. In June 1990, the Copenhagen Document on the Human Dimension of the Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe was adopted ; it is still regarded as the basic OSCE standard-setting instrument concerning minority rights
  
48. Id, n22, p.17.
 
49. Oslo Recommendations Regarding the Linguistic Rights of National Minorities , p2.  http://www.osce.org/hcnm/67531?download=true.accessed13 June, 2016.
 
50. Id, n19, p.18.
 
51. See:http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/Pages/search.aspx#{"fulltext":["Belgium linguistic case"],"itemid":["001-57525"]}  accessed 13 June, 2016.
 
52. The Belgian Linguistic case, Bills Committee on Race Discrimination Bill, LC paper No. CB(2) 152/06-07/02), p.3.
 
53. Article 2 of the First protocol : No person shall be denied the right to education. In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.
Article 14: The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status
 
54. Belgian Linguistic Cases, supra note 59, at 845.
 
55. Case "relating to certain aspects of the laws on the use of languages in education in Belgium" v. Belgium (Merits), Judgment 23 July 1968, European Court of Human Rights, p.84.http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/Pages/search.aspx#{"fulltext":["Belgium linguistic case"],"itemid":["001-57525"]}accessed 13 June, 2016.
 
56. See : http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/Pages/search.aspx#{"fulltext":["Cyprus v. Turkey"],"itemid":["001-59454"]}accessed 13 June, 2016.
 
57. Judgment of 10 May 2001, application no. 25781/94. http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/Pages/search.aspx#{"fulltext":["Judgment of 10 May 2001","application no. 25781/94."],"itemid":["001-59454"]}accessed 13 June, 2016.
 
58. Id, paras.277 and 278.
 
59. Id, n3, p.189.
 
60. Xabier Arzoz,The Nature of Language Rights, Citation:6 Jemie 1 2007,p.16.
 
61. European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Strasbourg, 5.XI.1992.
http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/Treaties/Html/148.htm accessed 13 June, 2016.
 
62. Id, p.5
 
63. Id, n25, p.2
 
64. Stefan Oeter, Introduction Minority Language Policy: Theory and Practice, Citation 6 JEMIE 1 2007, p.2.
 
65. The Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Pamphlet No.8 of the UN Guide for Minorities,p.2.
  
66. Id. p.10
 
67. Id. p.17
 
68.Id.
 
69. Id. p.14.
 
70. The law of the PRC on Regional National Autonomy http://www.china.org.cn/english/government/207138.htmaccessed 15 June, 2016.
 
71. Some Advise of the State Council on Further Prospering and Developing the Culture Cause of Ethnic Minorities adopted in 2009 stipulates the guideline for minorities cultural development in China. Article 1(1):......the cultures of ethnic minorities are an integral part of Chinese culture and are the common spiritual wealth of the Chinese nation......all ethnic minorities have made their own contributions to the development and progress of the Chinese culture. 
 
72. Id, Article 6.
 
73. Constitution of People’s Republic of China, Article 4 All nationalities in the People's Republic of China are equal. The State protects the lawful rights and interests of the minority nationalities and upholds and develops a relationship of equality, unity and mutual assistance among all of China's nationalities. Discrimination against and oppression of any nationality are prohibited; any act which undermines the unity of the nationalities or instigates division is prohibited.
The State assists areas inhabited by minority nationalities in accelerating their economic and cultural development according to the characteristics and needs of the various minority nationalities.
Regional autonomy is practiced in areas where people of minority nationalities live in concentrated communities; in these areas organs of self-government are established to exercise the power of autonomy. All national autonomous areas are integral parts of the People's Republic of China.
All nationalities have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages and to preserve or reform their own folkways and customs.
 
74. Article 33 All persons holding the nationality of the People's Republic of China are citizens of the People's Republic of China.
All citizens of the People's Republic of China are equal before the law.
The State respects and protects human rights.
Every citizen is entitled to the rights and at the same time must perform the duties prescribed by the Constitution and the law.
 
75. Article 19(2).
  
76. Article 46 Citizens of the People's Republic of China have the duty as well as the right to receive education.
The State promotes the all-round development of children and young people, morally, intellectually and physically. 
 
77. Opinions on the favorable Scoring Policy , Ministry of Education: http://www.moe.edu.cn/publicfiles/business/htmlfiles/moe/s4559/201412/181754.htmlaccessed 15 June, 2016.
 
78. Article 36: In accordance with the guidelines of the State on education and with the relevant stipulations of the law, the organs of self-government of national autonomous areas shall decide on plans for the development of education in these areas, on the establishment of various kinds of schools at different levels, and on their educational system, forms, curricula, the language used in instruction and enrollment procedures. 
 
79. Article 37 :The organs of self-government of national autonomous areas shall independently develop education for the nationalities by eliminating illiteracy, setting up various kinds of schools, spreading nine-year compulsory education, developing regular senior secondary education and secondary vocational and technical education in various forms, and developing higher education, where possible and necessary, so as to train specialized people from among all the minority nationalities. 
The organs of self-government of national autonomous areas shall set up public primary schools and secondary schools, mainly boarding schools and schools providing subsidies, in pastoral areas and economically underdeveloped, sparsely populated mountain areas inhabited by minority nationalities, so as to ensure that the students at school accomplish their schooling at the compulsory education stage. The expenses for running schools and for subsidies shall be handled by the local governments. If it is difficult for the local governments to do so, the governments at a higher level shall give them allowances. 
Schools (classes and grades) and other institutions of education where most of the students come from minority nationalities shall, whenever possible, use textbooks in their own languages and use their languages as the media of instruction. Classes for the teaching of Chinese (the Han language) shall, where possible, be opened for junior or senior grades of primary schools to popularize putonghua (the common speech based on Beijing pronunciation) and standard Chinese characters. 
People's governments at various levels shall give financial support to the compilation translation and publishing of teaching materials and publications in languages of minority nationalities. 
 
80. Several Provisions of the State Council on the Implementation of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Regional National Autonomy by Ethnic Minorities. Article 22: The State guarantees the freedom of the ethnic groups to use and develop their own language, supports the work of standardization and information processing of the languages of ethnic minorities, popularize the use of national standard spoken language of China and standard Chinese characters, encourages all ethnic groups in the ethnic autonomous areas to learn languages from each other. 
The State encourages ethnic autonomous areas to gradually popularize the “bilingual teaching” i.e. teaching in the language of the ethnic minorities and Chinese, support the research, development, translation and editing, and publishing of textbooks in languages of ethnic minorities, as well as in Chinese, support the establishment of sound examination institutions for the translation and editing of textbooks in languages of ethnic minorities, helps to foster teachers well-versed in languages of ethnic minorities and Chinese. 
 
81. Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region Bureau of Statistics, http://www.nmgtj.gov.cn/acmrdatashownmgpub/tablequery.htm?cn=C0101accessed 15 June, 2016.
 
82. Statistic bureau of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, http://www.xjtj.gov.cn/sjcx/tjnj_3415/2015xjtjnj/jykj_2015/201603/t20160316_492802.htmlaccessed 15 June, 2016.
 
83. Chinese Language, http://www.china-language.gov.cn/141/2016_1_26/1_141_6241_0_1453776261750.htmlaccessed 15 June, 2016.
 
84. Education Law, Article 2(2) :All citizens, regardless of ethnic group, race, sex, occupation, property status or religious belief, shall enjoy equal opportunities for education according to law.
 
85. Education Law, Article 10 The State, in light of the characteristics and needs of the different minority ethnic groups, provides assistance to the development of educational undertakings in regions inhabited by the minority ethnic groups.
 
86. Article 12 : The standard spoken and written Chinese language shall be the basic language used by schools and other educational institutions in education and teaching, and schools and other educational institutions shall use standard spoken and written Chinese language in education and teaching.
Schools and other educational institutions dominated by ethnic minority students in ethnic autonomous areas shall, according to the actual circumstances, use the standard spoken and written Chinese language and the spoken and written language of their respective ethnicities or commonly used by the local ethnicities to implement bilingual education.
 
87. Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language, http://en.pkulaw.cn/display.aspx?cgid=31465&lib=law# accessed 15 June, 2016.
 
88. Language Rights of Linguistic Minorities, A Practical Guide for Implementation, 
www.ohchr.org/.../LanguageRightsLinguisticMinoritiesHandbook.docx, p.4. accessed 15 June, 2016.
 
89. Id, p. 21.
 
90. Id, p. 20.
 
91. Id.
 
92. Kristin Henrard, Education and Multiculturalism: the Contribution of Minority Rights? ,International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 7: 2000, p.395.
 
93. Id, n40, p.5.
  
94. Id, n36, p.124.