China will exempt all students in urban areas from tuition fees in nine-year compulsory education from next year, said State Councilor Chen Zhili.
The State Council has decided to exempt all educational fees of primary and junior high schools from the spring semester of 2008, she said while touring central China's Hubei Province earlier this week.
She urged local governments to make preparations for the new move and ensure enough fund to be allocated for the compulsory education.
She asked local governments to shoulder due responsibilities to promote balanced development of urban and rural education.
China exempted rural students in western regions from compulsory education fees in 2006 and the exemption policy was expanded to the central and eastern regions in 2007.
Chen also said the central government will increase educational input to increase accommodation subsidies for needy students and to repair the ramshackle classrooms in central and western areas.
(Xinhua News Agency November 10, 2007)