The United Nations International Children's Education Fund (UNICEF) has committed US$1 million to combine with a US$19.3 million government and private foundation gift, both aimed at improving educational conditions in China's poor western regions.
The effort to boost schooling in 12 western provinces and autonomous regions will focus on training teachers and developing teaching materials for long-distance education, said Zheng Dawei, director of the International Co-operation Division of China's Ministry of Education.
The UNICEF grant and the 160 million yuan (US$19.3 million) fund from the Chinese Government and Hong Kong's Li Kashing Foundation are expected to pay for 8,000 stations within three years in remote and mountainous regions for students to use long-distance education technology.
UNICEF officials met with government officials in Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, to discuss the plans in a three-day conference that ended Wednesday.
UNICEF started its long-distance educational project in China in 1990. In the past decade, UNICEF and Chinese Government have set up more than 500 educational projects that provide audio-video teaching materials, teacher's training for compulsory education and farming technology to improve agricultural production, Zheng said.
(China Daily 09/20/2001)