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Students face hardship in quality school admission: report


13:31, December 22, 2012

BEIJING, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Forty-six percent of Chinese parents surveyed regard strong social connections or "sponsorship fees" necessary for their children to attend quality schools, according to a report released Thursday.

The survey, carried in the Evaluation of Chinese Cities' Basic Public Service Ability 2011-2012, covered respondents in 38 cities and concluded that "hardship for student's admission to quality schools exist and are comparatively severe."

The report, which was published by the Social Sciences Academic Press, said the phenomenon mainly resulted from imbalanced distribution of educational resources, leading to huge gaps in terms of quality among schools.

In big cities like Beijing, parents often pay 30,000 to 100,000 yuan (4,818 to 16,060 U.S. dollars) in "sponsorship fees" in order to secure their children a seat in top primary or junior high schools.

No one knows how the money is spent and no one -- neither school management nor education authorities -- admit to taking the cash.

The report said that tuition fees much higher than official standards and additional charges from schools, for such things as books, also increased the burden on parents and contributed to difficulties for students to receive education.

The report called for larger investment in the field and clear division of responsiblities among various government departments, with favorable policies for schools in central and western regions.

It also called for efforts to ease the gap of educational quality between primary and middle schools and stressed the principle to arrange students to attend the nearest possible one without exams.

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