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Pre-school Study to Be Regulated


An ambitious proposal to regulate pre-school education in Beijing was discussed in the Beijing Municipal People's Congress (BMPC) yesterday.

China presently has no independent national statute covering the education of children up to the age of 6 years.

Nearly 81 percent of children aged 3 to 6 years are educated in the capital's 2,180 kindergartens.

Of these, 93 percent are either run by companies, government agencies and institutions or privately funded.

Some kindergartens and nurseries in Beijing do not meet children's education requirements due to inadequate funding and poor teacher training, according to Beijing Municipal Education Commission Director Xu Xi'an.

He said another problem was that some parents were unable to send their children to kindergartens due to the high fees.

Members of the Standing Committee of the 11th Beijing Municipal People's Congress yesterday discussed the first draft of Beijing's regulation of pre-school education.

The document was drafted over the last year by experts from the local government and BMPC.

"The municipal government encourages enterprises, public organizations and individuals to set up kindergartens and nurseries with various favorable terms," the draft states.

The grassroots government should set up demonstration kindergartens to lead the development of pre-school education, according to the document.

"The government should ensure every child receive a good education before they go to school," said Yan Maoxun, a BMPC deputy yesterday.

Yan has reservations about the government's demonstration kindergartens.

"The two demonstration kindergartens I have been to require such high fees that ordinary wage-earners can not afford to send their children to them," he said.

Yan said more kindergartens and nurseries should be established to serve low-income residents.

Pre-school organs should be established with the help of residential communities, the municipal education commission urged.

However, in 260 communities established over the last decade in Beijing the number of kindergartens is only 54 percent of the amount required by city rules.

(China Daily 05/18/2001)

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