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Education Improving for Minorities in Gansu Province

Education among ethnic minority people in northwest China's Gansu Province has made marked improvement in recent years.

Gansu is home to 44 minority ethnic groups totaling 2.38 million people, 9.3 percent of the region's total population.

Most people from the ethnic minority groups are living in the two ethnic autonomous prefectures, seven ethnic autonomous counties and dozens of multinational counties.

The 10 pastoral counties in the province have set up many learning centers and over 100 boarding schools, providing education for children from herdsmen families, an official said.

Ethnic education in other parts of Gansu has also improved. Some 76.33 percent of ethnic minority children are studying in primary schools.

The province and the World Bank have provided a total of 72.04 million yuan for 316 schools in minority area. Meanwhile, the country's national compulsory education program invested 150 million yuan for 366 schools in 12 poverty-stricken counties in the province.

Last year, 2,521 students of ethnic minority people in Gansu entered colleges and universities, making up 10.2 percent of the province's total college enrollment.

Gansu has also set up dozens of training centers for thousands of teachers, who are now playing an important role in the region's education for ethnic minority students.

The Department of Education in Gansu also attaches importance to improving bilingual teaching, especially in the minority-inhabited areas.

So far, more than 306 primary and high schools as well as two universities in the province have opened ethnic language courses.

(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2002)

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