The State Council, China's cabinet, has issued a circular calling for local governments and departments to strengthen education for ethnic groups.
The State Council points out that though remarkable progress has been made in education in ethnic minority areas over the past 50 years, authorities in these areas must help extend the nine-year compulsory education to 95 percent of the areas by 2005.
By 2010, the nine-year compulsory education should be popularized in all the areas, illiteracy wiped out among young and middle-aged ethnic minorities, and a complete ethnic minority education system with Chinese characteristics established to adapt to the demands of modernization and information technology of the 21st century.
Efforts must be made to support distance education in ethnic minority areas with preferential policies offered.
A series of education projects aiming to help ethnic groups will be launched during the 2001-2010 period. Schools in the comparatively advanced eastern areas are encouraged to help their counterparts in the western regions.
Training teachers for ethnic minority education is also an emphasis of the work.
(Xinhua News Agency August 20, 2002)