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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Calls to spend school funds wisely

By Shan Juan (China Daily)

09:23, March 14, 2012

Students jump with rubber bands at the Deqen county ethnic primary school in the Diqing Tibet autonomous prefecture, Yunnan province, on March 9. Among the 390 students of the school, 388 are from the Tibetan ethnic group. The prefecture government has subsidized more than 200,000 children of local Tibetan farmers and herdsmen since 2007. (Lin Yiguang / Xinhua)

Local governments should ensure education spending is properly allocated this year, especially in rural and poor areas, lawmakers and political advisers said.

Government spending on education will increase to 4 percent of GDP this year, said Premier Wen Jiabao in his 2012 Government Work Report.

It was the first time that education funding has been specified in the annual work report, but some remained cautious about its implementation.

Zhong Binglin, a CPPCC member and president of Beijing Normal University, said the authorities at both central and local levels must take strict measures to make sure the promised amount was spent on education.

According to the World Bank, by 2001, government spending on education in industrialized countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Japan and the United States accounted for almost 5 percent of their GDP.

In low-income countries, including Cuba, Columbia, and Peru, it was 5.6 percent.

"As the country's economy grows, government investment into education should increase as well," said Hu Haiyan, president of Beijing Institute of Technology.

To achieve the target, Cheng Yuechong, deputy mayor of Ningbo, Zhejiang province, said they would adjust their expenditure structure to favor education more.

"Also, 10 percent of local land-transfer fees will go to education," he said.

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