Press conference on China's achievements in education reform and development since the 18th CPC National Congress

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Southern Metropolis Daily:

China's compulsory education has become universal. In addition, compulsory education became more balanced among counties between 2012 and 2021. What measures will be taken to further promote the sound and balanced development of compulsory education in the future? Thank you. 

Lyu Yugang:

Compulsory education is essential for China's education undertakings and has been universal in China since 2011. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core attached great importance to compulsory education and promoted leapfrog development and historic achievements on this front. First, we have ensured universal access to compulsory education and solved the long-period problem of dropouts in the fight against poverty. Second, we have basically achieved balanced development of compulsory education in counties. With unremitting efforts, all counties passed the national assessment for basic and balanced development of compulsory education, marking a new milestone in China's development of compulsory education.

Next, according to the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, we will focus on modernizing and strengthening education with unwavering emphasis, intensity, and efforts. We will sustain compulsory education as a top priority and consolidate the achievements made in ensuring compulsory education and its balanced development among regions. We will advance the fine and balanced development of compulsory education in a bid to meet people's expectations for access to education as well as high-quality education.

In terms of goals, we will emphasize four aspects, namely, more vivid development philosophies, higher standards in building schools, a higher caliber of the teaching workforce, and increased satisfaction among the people. We will ensure sound and balanced compulsory education by 2035.

In terms of implementation, we will bolster the construction of a high-quality and balanced basic public education service system to narrow the gap between regions, urban and rural areas, schools, and different groups. This can be achieved by standardizing school construction, integrating urban and rural education, balancing the allocation of teacher resources, harnessing digitalization in education, and forming an institution to care for students. 

To ensure progress, the government will be in charge, coordination will be strengthened, plans will be well-crafted, work will be done step by step, and pilot and demonstrative programs will be launched. The MOE has adopted a document to oversee and evaluate the development of quality and balanced compulsory education at the county level. Last year, 135 counties and districts were selected to carry out pilot programs, according to the document. With the basic requirements and key tasks already being specified, the pilot programs will actively explore paths and measures for developing quality and balanced compulsory education and play demonstrative and leading roles. 

I will stop here. Thank you.

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