China's basic education involves pre-school, nine-year compulsory education from elementary to junior high school, standard senior high school education, special education for disabled children, and education for illiterate people.
China has over 200 million elementary and high school students, who, together with pre-school children, account for one sixth of the population. For this reason the Central Government has prioritized basic education as a key field of infrastructure construction and educational development. In 2005, the number of students in school was 62.66 million, of which 19.88 million were enrolled in junior high school; senior high school education (including senior high school, adult high school, secondary specialized schools, vocational high schools, technical schools, and secondary technical schools for adults) has developed steadily in recent years. In 2005 enrollment was 15.25 million, 11.3 percent up on 2004.
The government has created a special fund to improve conditions in China's elementary and high schools, for new construction, expansion and the re-building of run-down structures. Per-capita educational expenditure on elementary and high school students has grown greatly, teaching and research equipment, books and documents being updated and replenished every year.
Government's aim for the development of China's basic education system is to approach or attain the level of moderately developed countries by 2010.