The Chinese government will extend its nine-year compulsory education during the 11th five-year period for national economic and social development (2006-2010), according to a guideline approved in principle by the central government.
The priorities of education development set out in the guideline include providing comprehensive education, extending compulsory education in central and western regions, boosting vocational education and improving the quality of higher education.
More financial support will be given to underdeveloped, rural, border and ethnic regions, and the gap in education resources and funds between regions and urban and rural areas will be narrowed, an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao decided.
Measures will be taken to ensure the education of needy students and to solve education issues of public concern, while teacher training and school management will be improved.
Wednesday's executive meeting also approved in principle a provisional regulation on the taxation of vehicles and ships, which unifies and simplifies taxes imposed on the use of vehicles and ships in China.
The regulation will be made public by the State Council after further modification.
(Xinhua News Agency December 29, 2006)