The Ministry of Education says China will stick to its policy of 9-year compulsory education. The suggestion to change to 12 years is beyond the country's means.
The Ministry stresses one of features of compulsory education is that it's free. China is a developing country and nine years is all it can afford.
The current emphasis will be on enhancing the system, making the 9 year-compulsory education universal in Western China, and eliminating teenage and adult illiteracy.
The Ministry says it agrees with some developed areas to popularize compulsory high school education.
(CCTV April 2, 2009)