The Tibet Autonomous Region, in southwest China, has made marked progress in the implementation of compulsory education in recent years.
The region had introduced six-year compulsory education in 49 of its 74 counties, covering a population of 1.85 million, by the end of 2002, according to a regional education work meeting held in Lhasa on Tuesday.
Eight counties and cities with a population of 433,000 in Tibet have implemented nine-year compulsory education, according to the meeting.
Another eight counties and cities recently gave an examination testing local levels of illiteracy, bringing the total number of such counties and cities to 28 in Tibet.
Thanks to illiteracy elimination projects, the illiteracy rate of young people in Tibet has dropped to 34.27 percent, compared with 97 percent before the region was peacefully liberated in 1951.
Both the central and regional governments attach great importance to education development in Tibet. Investment in education has risen year on year and the basic education has progressed rapidly over the past decades, according to materials from Tuesday's work meeting.
Statistics show that Tibet had 3,099 primary and middle schools with more than 410,000 students by the end of 2002. At present, 88.3 percent of children of primary school age have attended school.
(Xinhua News Agency January 22, 2003)