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Compulsory education ensures no school-age child is left behind

(Xinhua)    13:28, June 05, 2020

CHANGSHA, June 5 (Xinhua) -- The grueling 1,270-km travel of Li Gaoming, Party chief of a village in Luxi County, central China's Hunan Province, might change the entire life of a 15-year-old youngster.

After dropping out of school for a year, Liao Bin was fortunate enough to rejoin his school, thanks to the sustained efforts of Li and his colleagues.

"We traveled more than 1,200 km to visit him and his parents last year, persuading him to go back to school," Li said.

Liao left Maxikou village for the city of Shaoxing in east China's Zhejiang Province with his parents after quitting school. He later found a job at a local hair salon.

"He said he wanted to go back to school when we came to visit him, which made us more confident to win over his parents," Li said.

Li and his colleagues spent two days persuading them to let their son go back to school. "I told them to think about the youngster's future," Li said. "Education will change his life."

Currently, Liao is a junior high school student in the county. Following sheer hardwork, his first semester grades are continuing to improve. "I did not realize education could give me a lot of possibilities until Li and his colleagues came to persuade me," he said. "Now I'm eager to continue my study for a bachelor's degree in the future."

In recent years, Luxi County has adopted a slew of measures to ensure all school-age children receive compulsory education. The dropout rates in the county's primary schools, junior high schools, and senior high schools remained zero percent, 0.31 percent, and 0.5 percent, respectively, in the spring semester of 2019.

As China continues to uphold nine-year compulsory education, the number of students dropping out of school in poor areas has dropped sharply. Data from the Ministry of Education shows that the net enrollment rate of primary-school-age pupils reached 99.94 percent in 2019.

The country has increased free online courses in schools in rural areas, and invested in the construction and renovation of schools to ensure that no school-age child is left behind.

"I traveled over 1,200 km to persuade a youngster to go back to school, but not once did I visit my own son who had studied at Zhejiang University for four years because of the busy work in the village," Li said.

"I might not be a good father, but I hope I have served my village well."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Liang Jun)

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