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|Wednesday, September 19, 2001, updated at 16:23(GMT+8)|
Nation Uses Satellite to Ensure Quality EducationChina is using satellite communication technology to enhance its efforts to ensure quality education in vast underdeveloped western regions, where educational resources are relatively inadequate.
"The application of modern long-distance education in the western provinces is the best way to raise the standards of teaching, and to narrow the gap between education in the west and east of China," said Yin Luode, an official with the central audio-visual education office under the Ministry of Education.
He made the remarks during a satellite application conference that began yesterday in Beijing. About 500 people, including government officials, foreign and domestic experts and operators from the satellite communication industry, attended the three-day exhibition held by the China Institute of Communications.
Yin said satellite-aided long-distance education would be the primary way to promote education in the government's current strategic campaign to develop the west.
In February, a project to help primary schools and high schools in the country's western regions with "modern long-distance educational programmes" was officially started by the Ministry of Education and the sponsor, famous Hong Kong entrepreneur Li Ka-shing.
About 10úČ000 education sites at primary and middle schools in the western provinces or autonomous regions, including Tibet, Xinjiang úČ Gansu and Shaanxi, will be built under the project. These sites will be able to receive multimedia programmes from the country's education satellites.
The government aims to train 160 technicians and about 10,000 teachers who will take part in the first experimental information technology application.
Another project, called "Future training for tomorrow's teachers," has finished its first programme which enabled about 1,000 female teachers from Yunnan, Shaanxi, Gansu and Sichuan provinces, and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to learn basic computer skills.
The second programme of the project, which involves another 1,000 trainees, will be extended to female teachers from 10 provinces and regions in central and western China.
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