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Guangdong Waives Fees for Rural Students
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The 9.6 million students in the rural areas of Guangdong will be exempted from paying all fees from the new semester starting September, one year ahead of the plan as set out by the State Council.

A total of 6.68 million students in primary schools and 2.92 million students in junior middle schools will benefit from the extended compulsory education scheme.

Governments at the province, city and county level will shoulder the total expenses of 3.1 billion yuan (US$390 million) for the school year starting September.

Under a revised law on compulsory education, public schools are required to waive all fees for students up to Grade Three in junior high schools, allowing nine years of free education for eligible students.

The law, which was amended June 29, takes effect from September this year. Its original 1986 draft stipulated only the exemption of tuition fees for the compulsory education scheme.

The exemption of fees will be implemented in rural areas first and then in cities, according to the new regulation.

In the past five years, the provincial government has set aside 1.88 billion yuan to subsidize compulsory education for poor students. It will set aside 424 million yuan in the new school year to finance compulsory education in 16 poverty-stricken counties.

(Shenzhen Daily September 4, 2006)

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