Rural students in Wuhan, capital city of central China's Hubei Province, will enjoy free compulsory education from 2006, the city government has announced at a work meeting on education.
The scheme will cater for 432,000 rural students, and it will involve a total amount of 78 million yuan (US$9.75 million).
In addition, students from poor rural families will be granted free textbooks. Boarding students will receive subsidies to assist them in their daily living costs.
Last year, the city allocated 144 million yuan (US$18 million) to help 410,000 students from poor families and rural areas receive free compulsory education.
Last December, the State Council made a decision that rural students in China's relatively backward western region will enjoy free compulsory education from 2006.
In 2004, China began providing students from poor families free textbooks and exempted them from paying other school fees.
(Xinhua News Agency January 30, 2006)