Science and education are key to the development of China's central regions, State Councilor Liu Yandong said in an inspection tour last week to the central Hunan Province.
Science, technology and education can decide "the country's core competitiveness" and "the nation's future," Liu said. She visited universities, research institutes, cultural groups and sports sites in Hunan.
The gap in education quality between urban and rural areas and among different schools should be narrowed, she said. The quality of school buildings should be improved.
She called for further reforms in teaching methods and more efforts to build a stronger team of teachers. She also stressed the importance of technical skills and creativity.
Development of science and technology is closely related to people's livelihoods and should be sped up to tackle the bottlenecks threatening the ecosystem, public health and public security, Liu said.
She urged companies to become the main force of technological innovation, research and development.
(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2009)