China will fully popularize nine-year compulsory education in five years or during its 11th Five-Year Guidelines period for national economic and social development (2006-2010).
Chinese Minister of Education Zhou Ji made the remarks Tuesday at a press conference called by the State Council Information Office.
Zhou noted that in the five-year period China will increase the enrollment rate of Chinese senior secondary education and higher education to 80 percent and 25 percent respectively. In the meantime China would also expand its secondary vocational education to around the size of its general secondary education.
According to Zhou, China had 23 million students in its institutions of higher learning by the end of 2005. And the gross enrollment rate of higher education institutions in China reached 21 percent last year -- an 8.5 percent increase of that of 2000.
The increase marked a steady and encouraging growth in China's higher education, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency February 28, 2006)