Promoting reform of the compulsory education system and handling well the issue of educational input in the countryside has a direct bearing on the success or failure of the ongoing rural taxation reform the central government has launched to reduce the financial load of farmers and increase their income, vice-premier Li Lanqing said Monday.
Leading officials at all levels must pay great attention to the work and do a good job of it, Li said while attending a group discussion of the delegation of Anhui Province during the annual session of the National People's Congress.
Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said governments at all levels should earnestly take up the responsibilities to develop compulsory education in rural areas.
He called for hard work to strengthen the leadership and administration of rural compulsory education and establish a mechanism to ensure funding for developing the sector, so as to guarantee investment in this sector and the payment of the teachers' salaries.
Anhui in east China is a pilot province in carrying out the rural taxation reform, Li said, urging the province to further consolidate their work in the experiment and set an example for the other parts of the country.
(People's Daily March 12, 2002)