Chinese leaders Saturday stressed that priority should be given to basic education, which is considered the foundation for China to implement the strategy of revitalizing the country through science and education.
The Leading Group of National Science, Technology and Education, headed by Premier Zhu Rongji, held its ninth meeting Saturday.
Premier Zhu and Vice-Premier Li Lanqing, deputy head of the group, told the meeting that China will continue to popularize nine-year compulsory education and eliminate illiteracy among young and middle-aged people during the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2000-2005).
China will strengthen basic education in rural areas. More junior middle schools will be built in rural areas, and the government will offer more aid to poverty-stricken areas in central and western regions, they said.
Development and reform of ethnic education will be accelerated in order to train more professionals for areas inhabited by ethnic minorities.
The leading group decided to hold a national working conference on basic education and a national conference on ethnic education.