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One mln low-cost Olympic tickets for children
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Chinese authorities started handing out almost one-million low-cost tickets to school children on Tuesday.

At about 14 percent of the total amount, the tickets are being sold as part of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Education Program.

More than 6, 000 student representatives from across the country were sent to Beijing by their schools to receive the tickets, website qianlong.com reported.

Under the Olympic Education Program, students in the 556 designated primary and secondary schools throughout China will pay just five Yuan, or less than one U.S. dollar, to see an Olympic preliminary, and ten Yuan for a semifinal or final.

The Ministry of Education and Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (BOCOG) only receive reservations from provincial education authorities. Direct reservations for individuals and schools will not be accepted.

Students in Beijing and the Olympic co-host cities of Tianjin, Shanghai, Qingdao, Shenyang and Qinhuangdao will be organized to watch the competitions in their home cities. Those from other cities may come in groups to see the Games held in Beijing, with ten local middle schools providing food and board at low costs.

Teachers and students from the quake-hit Sichuan area will also be invited to Beijing during the Olympics. All of their expenses will be taken care of by the BOCOG.

The visiting students should not wear clothes with unified signs, but school uniforms are permitted as long as there are not clearly-visible brand logos, BOCOG said.

Launched in December 2005, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Education Program called on schools around the country to teach students Olympic-related knowledge and spread the Olympic message of peace and harmony to the next generation of citizens.

(CRI July 9, 2008)

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