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China to Update Textbooks

China's Ministry of Education is launching a reform to update the teaching materials currently used in preliminary and secondary schools to make them more practical, officials said.

To achieve this the ministry will first change the form and content of the university entrance examination. The examination is the major part of China's mark-orientated educational evaluation system and has a major influence on the day-to-day teaching in schools.

Officials said many textbooks used in China's universities and secondary schools were compiled several decades ago. They are now obsolete and not suitable for the country's rapid social and technological development. As a result, the quality of China's education is lagging behind that of advanced countries.

In addition, China has concentrated more on theory than application. Students may grasp the theories of algebra and geometry very well but are not good at using these theories to solve practical problems.

Therefore, teaching materials must be changed to apply to life in the real world.

(Xinhua News Agency December 12, 2001)

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