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|Thursday, June 14, 2001, updated at 08:00(GMT+8)|
Premier Calls for Breakthrough in Basic Education ReformChinese Premier Zhu Rongji has urged efforts must be made to improve the management system of basic education, promote quality-oriented education in an all- round way and make new breakthroughs in the reform of basic education.
Zhu, who chairs a state leading group for science, technology and education, made the call Tuesday at a national work conference on basic education held by the State Council in Beijing.
He said although great progress has been made over the past decades, the overall level of basic education in China is still low, as development in basic education varies from region to region and many problems still exist and impede the development.
The premier said that one of the keys to strengthening basic education is to improve the management system and ensure investment in basic education, especially that in compulsory education.
The fact that the funds used in compulsory education cannot been ensured is the most prominent problem in the current basic education system, Zhu pointed out.
This also makes things easy for some localities to collect fees arbitrarily, putting a heavier burden on farmers, the premier said.
A new decision made by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China stipulates that the county-level governments should shoulder up the major responsibility of compulsory education in the rural regions.
It is mainly the government, rather than the farmers, that should invest in basic education, especially compulsory education, and this is universal, Zhu said.
He stressed measures must taken to ensure the salaries of teachers in rural schools, strictly implement the teacher's qualifications system, stop arbitrary collection of tuition fees and alleviate the economic burden of students, especially in the countryside.
Related departments under the State Council should set a unified standard tuition system for compulsory education in poverty-stricken rural areas, Zhu added.
The premier also called on all social forces to make contribution to the country's basic education, especially the non- compulsory education, saying enterprises, organizations and individuals that donate to education are entitled to have the income tax payment on that part of the donation exempted.
Emphasizing quality-oriented education, Zhu pointed out that the creative spirit and practical working capability of students should be fostered so that they can develop in an all-round way.
Since primary school and junior high school education play a key role in a student's whole life, ethical education in this period should be particularly stressed, said the Premier, noting students should be acquainted with traditional Chinese culture, revolutionary history, and national defense knowledge.
Citing late leader Deng Xiaoping's remark in 1985 that officials at all levels should place equal emphasis on economic construction and education, Zhu urged officials to help create a sound environment for the development of basic education and pay attention to the growth of the younger generation.
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