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Shaoshan extends free education

(China Daily)

09:34, August 31, 2012

The education authority in Shaoshan, a city in Central China’s Hunan province will exempt senior middle school students from paying tuition from the beginning of this semester, according to the provincial education department.

Students are not charged for the nine-year compulsory education, which covers primary school and junior middle school education, but they have to pay around 1,000 yuan ($157.46) each semester in senior middle school, which usually enrolls students aged between 15 and 18.

According to the local education bureau in Shaoshan, a city with a population of 100,000, the city only has one public senior middle school and one vocational high school, which have 1,300 students between them.

Deputy mayor Huang Tiehua of Shaoshan revealed that the city is planning to eliminate kindergarten fees by the year 2015.

Shaoshan is the first city in Hunan to get rid of senior middle school tuition.

Some cities and counties in Shanxi and Shannxi provinces also extend free education to senior middle school. Other regions in China only provide the nine-year compulsory?education policy set by the central government.

A central government plan for education reform and development from 2010 to 2020 did not set goals to extend compulsory education, but it urged for strengthening the nine-year free-education policy by balancing educational development in urban and rural areas.
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