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Compulsory Education Law of the People's Republic of China
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(Adopted at the Fourth Session of the Sixth National People's Congress April 12, 1986 and promulgated by Order No. 38 of the President of the People's Republic of China on April 12, 1986)

Article 1 This Law is formulated, in accordance with the Constitution and the actual conditions in China, for the purpose of promoting elementary education and the building of a socialist society that is advanced culturally and ideologically as well as materially.

Article 2 The State shall institute a system of nine-year compulsory education. The authorities of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government shall decide on measures to promote compulsory education, in accordance with the degree of economic and cultural development in their own localities.

Article 3 In compulsory education, the State policy on education must be implemented to improve the quality of instruction and enable children and adolescents to achieve all-round development -- morally, intellectually and physically -- so as to lay the foundation for improving the qualities of the entire nation and for cultivating well-educated and self-disciplined builders of socialism with high ideals and moral integrity.

Article 4 The State, the community, schools and families shall, in accordance with law, safeguard the right to compulsory education of school-age children and adolescents.

Article 5 All children who have reached the age of six shall enroll in school and receive compulsory education for the prescribed number of years, regardless of sex, nationality or race. In areas where that is not possible, the beginning of schooling may be postponed to the age of seven.

Article 6 Schools shall promote the use of Putonghua (common speech based on Beijing pronunciation), which is in common use throughout the nation.

Schools in which the majority of students are of minority nationalities may use the spoken and written languages of those nationalities in instruction.

Article 7 Compulsory education shall be divided into two stages: primary school education and junior middle school education. Once primary education has been made universal, junior middle school education shall follow. The department in charge of education under the State Council shall decide on the duration of each stage.

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