The State Council has just approved a draft amendment to the Compulsory Education Law. The draft is aimed to promote all-round development of students and to allocate more educational resources to China's rural areas.
Since the Compulsory Education Law was introduced in 1986, it has played an important role in popularizing the provision of nine-years of compulsory education and in improving educational standards in China.
The latest draft amendment is being proposed to address new problems that have emerged in China's educational sector.
Included in the draft amendment are provisions to standardize school curricula and strengthen supervision of courses.
Professor Wu from East China Normal University says this is a big step forward.
"It is a great step forward. Nowadays, students are learning for the sake of exams. Moral education, and their cultural appreciation is lagging far behind. The standardization of curricula will help to solve this problem. Hopefully, students can develop in a healthier way."
Education in China's rural areas remains a big issue. The draft amendment notes that the allocation of compulsory educational resources will be rationalized. More money will be distributed to rural areas. And college graduates and teachers will be encouraged to devote themselves to compulsory education in rural areas.
Professor Wu hails these moves.
"In rural areas, especially in the west, compulsory education still remains a problem. There are still students in rural areas who can't afford to go to school. So, the new draft is trying to solve the problem through education outlays. It aims at protecting and improving the implementation of compulsory education there through exempting those students from both tuition fees and other educational expenses."
The draft also notes that the categories of textbooks need to be reduced, while their quality needs to be improved. And teacher training is to be strengthened so that they can be more qualified both morally and practically.
The draft amendment to the Compulsory Education Law will be submitted to the Standing Committee of National People's Congress (NPC) after further approval.
(CRI January 6, 2006)