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Tibet Benefits from State Education Project
Tibet Autonomous Region, southwest China, has witnessed marked improvement in educational standards since a state project to expand compulsory education in rural areas was launched in the region four years ago.

The central government and the local government of Tibet jointly invested 247.5 million yuan (US$29.8 million) in expanding and building 196 primary and high schools in the region' s 70 counties between 1998 and 2000.

According to the regional education department, primary and middle schools covered by the first phase project carried out between 1998 and 2000, purchased more than 850,000 books, over 3, 500 sets of stools and desks and educational instruments and equipment worth over 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million). A total of 4,241 principals and teachers were trained.

As a result, the region's 44 counties have realized six-year compulsory education up from 11 counties in the past, and five counties have met the requirements of a nine-year compulsory education.

The state compulsory education project in rural areas was launched by the former State Education Commission and the Ministry of Finance 1995.

In the second phase project, which began last year, the central government plans to inject 170 million yuan (US$20.4 million) in the coming five years, with the local government investing 85 million yuan.

According to local officials, most of the project schools are built near the homes of local farmers and herdsmen.

(China Daily June 25, 2002)

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