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Distance Education Projects for Rural Schools
China will implement distance education projects for all primary and middle schools in rural areas within five years in a bid to promote educational development in rural society, Wang Zhan, vice minister of education, said recently.

Wang Zhan made the remarks at a symposium held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing late in June for the first anniversary of the promulgation and implementation of the China's first science popularization law -- the Law on Popular Science.

According to Wang Zhan, the project will enable all middle schools in rural areas to have their own computer rooms. All primary schools in rural areas will have access to satellite education and be equipped with CD players and whole-set educational CDs for teaching. "We will try to realize development of rural education through education modernization brought about by information technology," he added.

In order to carry out the project, 10 billion yuan ((US$1.21 billion) has been earmarked for middle and western areas, disclosed Wang Zhan. In addition, China will greatly promote science popularization and educational activities among rural schools by means of information technology.

With the implementation of the Law on Popular Science, China will greatly push the reform of curriculum in primary and middle schools and gradually devise a sci-tech education curriculum system for teenagers. After the summer vacation, science lessons offered to middle and primary schools, and currently trialed among 500 plus counties, will be extended to the rest of the country, according to Wang.

Wang also noted that during the 2001-2005 period, the central and local governments will invest more than four billion yuan (US$483.11million) to set up a batch of venues for extracurricular activities for teenagers. The newly built venues will play a key role in sci-tech education.

(China.org.cn by Wang Qian July 9, 2003)

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