A senior Chinese official has called for more financial support for rural education. The funding for compulsory education in rural China was another policy adopted by the central government to build a harmonious society, State Councilor Chen Zhili said during a tour of central China's Hunan Province.
Local governments should make every effort to guarantee investment in rural education and strictly supervise the use of the funding to ensure it was properly spent, Chen said. She also called for strong measures to prevent schools levying unreasonable charges and for more financial support for poor rural students.
China has about 150 million students in rural areas. The government exempted primary and junior middle school students from paying tuition in western regions, the poorest part of the country, this year and promised to extend the exemption to other rural areas next year.
The government will invest 218.2 billion yuan (US$27 billion) in rural education from 2006 to 2010.
(Xinhua News Agency November 21, 2006)