Kindergartens be included in compulsory education?

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Experts have suggested kindergartens be included in China's nine-year free compulsory education system, which begins in elementary school and lasts until the end of junior high school, in a bid to restrain the rapid kindergarten admittance fee growth.

Ever-increasing admittance fees for kindergartens in China have risen more than 50 percent in some cities and towns, the Wuhan Morning Post reports.

Many parents are complaining about the sharp fee increase, as it adds to their pressure in trying to make ends meet.

Investigations conducted by the newspaper have found the quality of education and other services provided by some kindergartens are not worth the fees they charge. Yet, some parents refuse to point this out, fearing that administrators and teachers might retaliate against their children in class or even expel them.

Liu Xiaoying, headmistress at Yuxing Kindergarten in Nanchang in east China's Jiangxi Province, said the rise in food prices prompted administrators to increase school fees.

"Food prices such as that of cabbage and milk have doubled since 2010, driving up our expenditures on food from 3,000 yuan ($492) to 5,000 yuan ($820) per month," Liu said.

Authorities say kindergarten fees should not be increasing so sharply, regardless of higher food costs or other reasons. Yet, private kindergartens have free reign in setting their fees, so there is not much parents can do but pay them.

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