The authorities in China will extend nine-year compulsory education system during the 11th five-year period for national economic and social development (2006-2010), according to a guideline approved in principle by the central government.
The priorities of education development set out in the guideline include providing comprehensive and compulsory education in central and western regions, improving vocational learning and lifting the quality of higher education.
More financial support will be given to underdeveloped, rural, border and ethnic regions. The gap in education resources and funds between regions and urban and rural areas will be narrowed, an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao decided.
Measures will be taken to ensure the education of needy students and to solve learning issues of public concern while teacher training and school management will be improved.
(Xinhua News Agency December 29, 2006)