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UPDATED: March 1, 2010
China Pledges to Ensure Fair Education
China will support the development of vocational education and carry out pilot reforms to allow vocational schools to better serve demands of enterprises

The Chinese government pledges to improve the quality of education and enable people to enjoy fairer education through more investment and reforms in the coming decade.

The draft of the National Outline for Medium and Long-term Education Reform and Development (2010-2020) was published Sunday for public opinions.

The amount of government investment on education annually will increase to 4 percent of the country's total GDP by 2012, according to the outline. The proportion was 3.48 percent of its GDP in 2008.

Ding Xuedong, vice minister of finance, indicated on Sunday that the four-percent target was ambitious but also challenging because other sectors such as agriculture, science and technology, health care and social security need investment, too.

"Governments at all levels will have to make greater efforts to ensure the fulfillment of the target," Ding said.

He said the government would increase its education budget through more effective taxation and better management on education funds.

Education Minister Yuan Guiren said at a press conference Sunday in Beijing that the top task in the coming ten years was to guarantee equal access to education while enhancing the quality of education.

"To achieve the goal, local government at all levels should give top priority to the development of education and strive to deepen the education reform through innovation," Yuan said.

China will invest more to improve facilities in elementary and middle schools, such as school buildings, teaching equipment, libraries, sports facilities and lodging conditions, particularly for rural schools, the outline said.

More college graduates will be encouraged to teach at elementary and middle schools in remote and poor areas to improve the quality of education there, it said.

China will support the development of vocational education and carry out pilot reforms to allow vocational schools to better serve demands of enterprises.

High schools, colleges and universities shall adopt more flexible enrollment policies, rather than just using examination marks, in order to encourage comprehensive development of students, according to the outline.

The outline said private education will be greatly encouraged and unfavorable policies against them shall be eliminated.

There were about 100,000 privately-run schools in the country which educated about 28 million students in 2008.

The outline said children of migrant workers would be able to sit high school exam in areas where their parents work, a step which would allow equal opportunities of education to those children.

The outline also called for the removal of bureaucracy-like management at schools, which was seen as a hurdle of education development in China.

(Xinhua News Agency, March 1, 2010)

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