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Compulsory education law enforcement comes under inspection
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China's top legislative group, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), will start inspecting how the Compulsory Education Law is being enforced in 14 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.

Inspections, to start at the end of September, will focus on how local governments allocate money for education in rural areas, the quality of compulsory education and the safety of school buildings, Lu Yongxiang, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee said here Tuesday.

Similar inspections have been conducted twice over the past two years. Lawmakers discovered many problems including insufficient funding in mountain regions, poorly equipped rural school houses and underpaid rural teachers.

The purpose of the inspection is to supervise and urge the State Council and relevant government departments to make sure the law, which was adopted in 1986 and amended in 2006, is being implemented effectively, Lu said.

The inspection also aims to timely solve problems found in the law enforcement.

China's compulsory education consists of six years of primary school and three years of junior high school. The law stipulates free-tuition for compulsory education.

In addition to free tuition, China pledged in 2007 to exempt all rural students from incidental fees to lessen the burden of farmers. It also offered free textbooks and subsidized boarding fees for poor students.

Funds to support such compulsory education in rural areas are co-financed by the central and local governments.

For fall semester 2008, about 28.21 million urban students in primary schools and in junior high schools joined rural students to benefit from the plan. Students still must pay for textbooks and uniforms.

(Xinhua News Agency September 18, 2008)

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