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Free Textbooks Provided to Needy Students
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Students from rural areas and poor urban families in China's southernmost province of Hainan have got free textbooks worth over 40 million yuan (US$5 million), the provincial source said.

Each primary school pupil in need got 35 yuan (US$4.4) worth of books while junior middle school students got 70 yuan (US$8.8), according to sources from the Hainan branch of Xinhua Bookstore Chains, the country's largest book retailer.

A total of 960,000 sets of textbooks have been sent to schools.

Thanks to the provision of free textbooks, many drop-outs in rural areas are returning to schools, which has made the number of registered students this year exceed the original estimate, local education authorities said. The province is planning to provide more free textbooks to the needy students.

Governments at various levels will allocate 78.49 million yuan (US$9.8 million) on the provision of the free textbooks in the province in 2006, the source said.

(Xinhua News Agency February 20, 2006)

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