BEIJING, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- China has seen a surge in registered teachers as the country tries to improve the status and salary of the profession, the Ministry of Education said on Monday.
More than 14.6 million registered teachers were employed in about 530,000 schools to educate roughly 270 million students across China in 2012, according to the eduction ministry's figures.
The number of teachers in kindergartens and high schools rose by 163,600 and 38,200, respectively, in 2012.
However, primary and middle schools saw fewer teachers last year, with year-on-year drops of 19,400 and 20,200, respectively, according to figures from the ministry.
Currently, one primary school teacher has to teach an average of 17.36 students, while the staff-student ratios in middle and high schools were 1: 13.59 and 1: 15.47, respectively.
China's teaching staff has been getting younger as young and middle-aged teachers have become the majority, said Xu Tao, an official with the ministry, adding that 60.84 percent of teachers in primary and middle schools are under 40.
The proportion of well-educated teachers has also increased, with 65.13 percent of kindergarten teachers holding a junior college degree or higher, said Xu, adding that the figure for primary school teachers is 84.91 percent.
About 71.63 percent of middle school teachers hold a bachelor's degree or above, while more than 5 percent of high school teachers have earned a master's or doctoral degree, Xu added.