E. China province to spend 2 bln yuan promoting rural compulsory education

East China's Jiangsu Province is expected to spend 2 billion yuan (some 246 million US dollars) this year to help exempt all education tuition and fees for students during their compulsory education period, according to the provincial government.

The province will continue to provide free textbooks and subsidies for the students from needy families, said an official with the provincial government.

Students in central Jiangsu will also receive free texbooks, according to the official. He said the total number of beneficiaries will reach 800,000 this year.

Additionally, educational authorities in Jiangsu will further promote the establishment of a vocational education system in a bid to offer training to 30,000 needy students and 300,000 rural laborers.

More scholarships will be provided to finance 110,000 needy college students, said the official.

Starting 2005, the province is now allocating 100 million yuan (about 12.5 million US dollars) annually to improve its compulsory education as part of a larger effort China is making to promote rural education.

In 2004, China began providing students from poor families free textbooks and exempted them from paying other school fees. Boarding students will receive living allowances, and a goal has been set to enable needy students to complete the nine-year compulsory education by 2007.

Source: Xinhua

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