Vice Governor of Sichuan Li Chengyun yesterday vowed to support earthquake orphans receiving college and vocational school education.
Li made the remarks at the local government's seventh press conference after the earthquake struck this southwest China region on May 12. He also briefed the press on the latest developments in disaster-relief work and answered questions concerning adoption procedures for earthquake orphans as well as post-earthquake reconstruction plans.
According the vice governor, orphans attending universities in future will be sponsored by the government. "For those who fail the university entrance examination, we'll arrange them to attend vocational schools at government expense and after graduating, the government will find them jobs," Li said.
As for the orphans attending secondary schools now, the government will resettle them according to their age and cover all their expenses, he added.
Li noted that anyone donating money to build a school should contact the provincial department of education. "We should allocate the money soundly so that post-construction balances urban and rural development."
He also revealed that the provincial department of civil affairs is in charge of orphan adoption and the procedures were being discussed.
According to Li, rescuers had arrived at all 3,669 quake-affected villages in Sichuan as of Monday afternoon. A four-tiered administration has set up emergency call numbers; the numbers are now public.
Saving people is still the top priority, he stressed, saying that "we should not lose hope even though there is only a slim chance of survival.
Li also reiterated the importance of epidemic prevention as it involves the life of each citizen. "Reconstruction will come to the next. We have already planned for that and the work has begun in some places."
(China.org.cn by Xiang Bin, May 20, 2008)