China's basic education includes pre-school education, nine-year compulsory education from elementary to junior high school, ordinary senior high school education, special education for disabled children, and education for illiterates.
There are more than 200 million elementary and high school students in China. Together with pre-school children, they account for one-sixth of the whole population. For this reason the Central Government has given priority to development of basic education as a key field of infrastructure construction and educational development.
In recent years, senior high school education has developed steadily. In 2003 the enrollment was 7.52 million, 3.1 times that in 1988. Today, the national gross enrollment in senior high schools is only 42.8 percent, much lower than that of developed countries.
The Central Government has invested special funds to improve conditions of elementary and high schools around the country. Some school buildings have been built and expanded, and some crumbling school buildings have been rebuilt. The per-capita educational fund for elementary and high school students has greatly grown. Teaching and research equipment, books and documents in schools have been updated and replenished every year. The goal of the development of China's general basic education is to get close to or reach the level of a moderately developed country in 2010.