China will issue 300 million yuan-worth of government loans to support the development of vocational and continuing education in China's western areas.
The loans will be used to improve education in 186 poverty-stricken counties in western China, including the Xinjiang and Tibet autonomous regions, said Wang Zhan, vice-minister of education, at the 2001 Vocational and Adult Educational Conference which opened Saturday in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province.
Great progress has been made in vocational and adult education in western China over the past few years, according to the meeting. By the end of 2001, the number of secondary vocational schools in rural areas of western China totaled 633,800, and they have given training to 91 million people.
However, rural residents in western China still enjoy fewer educational opportunities compared with people living in the developed coastal areas of east China.
The ministries of education and finance allocated dozens of millions yuan to develop education in western China last year. Butthe amount of funds was inadequate, Wang said.
(People's Daily January 27, 2002)