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Tuesday, April 03, 2001, updated at 08:24(GMT+8)

Chinese, US Schools Join Hand in High School Venture

The ground-breaking ceremony for a Sino-US co-operative high school to be built in the Pudong District was held Monday.

The school, which claims to be the first of its kind in Shanghai, is to be jointly set up by Jianping High School of Shanghai and Central High School of Philadelphia, a public school with a history of more than 150 years.

The school will occupy a total area of 16.7 hectares, making it the largest high school in area in Shanghai. Dongda Enterprise Group Co Ltd of Shanxi Province is the sole investor in the project, and has ploughed 350 million yuan (US$42 million) into it.

It will be a private boarding school featuring international exchanges, high-level teaching and learning, and individual study. The school plans to recruit 800 students from Shanghai and other parts of China this September.

"With the country about to enter the WTO, Chinese education has to meet the requirements of international communication," said Feng Enhong, the present headmaster of Jianping, and the new headmaster of the co-operative high school.

"This kind of co-operation is as natural as cultural exchange and is becoming more and more essential," said Reg Speir, vice-president of Philadelphia Central High School.

The school will use SAT (Student Aptitude Test) textbooks from the United States, in addition to the textbooks required by the Chinese Ministry of Education.

Students will go through high school entrance examination before entering the co-operative school, and their English skills will be emphasized as the school will be bilingual.

"Most of our students will go to college in China so we try to help as many of them as possible to pass the college entrance examination in China,'' Feng said. "What we hope to achieve is to combine the advantages of the US and Chinese education."

US students from Central will have short-term courses in the school, too, to study Chinese art and culture.

The construction of the school buildings is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The first group of students will stay in Jianping School until that time. The school expects to enrol 1,500 students in grades 10, 11 and 12.

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The ground-breaking ceremony for a Sino-US co-operative high school to be built in the Pudong District was held Monday.

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