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China works hard to achieve its goal of spending 4 percent GDP on education

By  Li Yan (People's Daily Online)    16:39, September 22, 2017

China’s success of spending over 4 percent of its GDP on education to make sure no student drops out of school due to poverty is a hard-earned one.

The latest figures show that China spent nearly 4 trillion yuan ($590 billion) on education in 2016, up 7.57 percent from the year before, the 5th consecutive year that the country spent above 4 percent of GDP on education.

The average percentage of government expenditure is around 7 percent in the world and 9 percent in developed countries, according to statistics.

In 1993, China set the goal of lifting the percent of GDP on education to 4 percent before 2000. But due to its development situation, the timetable was prolonged to after 2010.

In 2012, China’s Ministry of Education (MOE), National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and Ministry of Finance (MOF) established an organization to push forward the “4 percent” national drive.

In 2012, China spent over 2.22 trillion yuan on education, accounting for 4.28 percent of GDP. The past 5 years of achievements were especially precious when financial revenues were less than expenses due to high pressure from economic downturn.

“It is a rigid requirement that the growth of government expenditures on education should be noticeably higher that regular financial revenues,” according to Zhao Lu, director of the Education, Science and Culture Department of the MOF.

“Education expenditure increases are more or less unanimously approved during every session of the National People’s Congress,” Zhao said, saying that reflects the Central Government’s strategy of reinvigorating the nation through science and education and its positive response to people’s desire for better education.

According to the MOE in December 2015, China’s retention ratio of nine-year compulsory education was higher than the upper-income countries, and the gross enrollment ratio for senior secondary education and higher education were also higher than the average of upper-middle-income countries.

Sustained and steady growth of funds firmly supports the smooth operation of China’s education. According to MOE statistics, China has the largest education population in the world, with people receiving education equivalent to the whole population of the United States, twice of Russia, and four times of France.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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