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China Not to Pursue Profit-oriented Education: Official

Chinese education minister said here Tuesday that China will not place profit-gaining capability as the primary par for education.

At a press conference organized by the State Council Information Office, Minister Zhou Ji said that education is basically a cause for social benefits.

Governmental encouragement of private investment into education does not mean gaining economic returns is the priority for schools, said Zhou, adding that more private funds could alleviate burdens of the government for financing education.

Meanwhile, China welcomes overseas partners who are able to provide quality education service to the Chinese.

A newly adopted law stipulates that private schools are legally equal to their public counterparts.

Statistics show that by the end of 2002, about 61,200 privately-funded schools enrolled more than 11 million students. A total of 712 programs were jointly carried out by Chinese and overseas educators, nine times that of seven years before.

"Profits pursuit in education might endanger equal rights of education for every Chinese citizen," Zhou said.
(Xinhua News Agency January 7, 2004)

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