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State Council: Local Governments Obligated to Assist Poor Students

The State Council of China issued a notification on Sunday giving instructions on a nationwide project that aims to provide constant financial assistance to students from poor families.

The project, jointly launched by the Chinese Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance and other central departments, is dedicated to helping students from poor families go through their nine years of compulsory education.

The notification said the governments at various levels in China have the obligation of helping the students from poor families, especially in the poor backward rural areas, to fulfill their primary education.

Local education departments across China should try to mobilize every social force to offer assistance to the poor, and should organize the assistance activities in diversified forms, the notification said.

The notification also urges local education departments to set up a coordination mechanism specially responsible for planning assistance methods.

The State Council issued the full text of its decision to strengthen rural education on September 20, which explicitly defines rural education as the focus of national education policy.

According to the decision, by 2007, every poor rural student will enjoy subsidies for boarding in their compulsory education period and a waiver of tuition fees, and no one will have to quit school due to financial difficulties.

(Xinhua News Agency September 29, 2003)

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