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The government should balance resources among all schools that provide compulsory education, says an article in Oriental Morning Post. An excerpt follows:

The Shanghai municipal government recently laid out school enrolment policies for next year, which say all State-run schools should take pupils that live in their neighbourhoods without asking them to sit an examination.

It is completely necessary for school authorities to be required to recruit students from their neighbourhoods and not to choose candidates.

This will not only help create a completely free compulsory education system, but will also help curb the increasingly strong tendency for pupils to select schools thought to be better than others by paying a lot of money.

To this end, great efforts are still needed to gradually narrow the gap between different public schools and make them live up to State standards.

Compulsory education should be free for all children.

On the one hand, the government should provide children with conditions under which they can go to school free of charge. On the other hand, school-age children should follow guidance from relevant education departments and receive their schooling at government-assigned institutions.

The main reason for parents selecting schools for their children is the unbalanced distribution of education resources among different schools.

It is a fact that in China, some schools surpass others in teaching conditions and quality. To rectify this situation, the government should set a series of operational standards for all State-run schools that are acceptable to local residents. Also, it should distribute education resources, which come from taxpayers, between all public schools in a fair manner so that every school-age child enjoys the same access to education.

At a time when the nation's compulsory education programme is not being fully carried out, it is unreasonable and illegal to mobilize financial and teaching resources for only a handful of schools.

Every school should be allocated equal education resources so that every school-age child can enjoy equal opportunities.

(China Daily December 29, 2005)

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