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China increases education spending
March 5, 2013, 9:01 am

Chinese officials are committed to improving education in both rural and urban areas [Xinhua]

Chinese officials are committed to improving education in both rural and urban areas [Xinhua]

National spending on education amounted to 4 per cent of China’s 2012 GDP, up 0.07 percentage points from 2011, with the majority of the additional funds used to make improvements in basic education.

Basic education includes compulsory education, school dormitories and subsidies for college students, according to an article published Monday by the People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Since 2009, the central government has allocated 30 billion yuan ($4.78 billion) and steered another 300 billion yuan ($47.8 billion)  in investment from local governments or enterprises toward the reconstruction of 350 million square metres of dormitories in 136,000 schools, the article said.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) said it will make the most efforts to manage educational expenditure this year and establish a supervisory mechanism to ensure the proper use of the funds.

A recent circular published on the website of the MOE reported 10 instances of arbitrary school fees being levied.

During the anti-corruption campaign in 2012, the ministry also cracked down on 350 major cases of arbitrary school fees, the circular said.


Meanwhile, calls for China to diversify its education system have been increasing.

Last month, Jennifer Blanke, chief economist of the World Economic Forum (WEF), said that China’s economy would become one of the world’s most competitive.

Speaking at a two-day government summit in Dubai, Blanke said that China has put great emphasis on mathematics and science education at grammar schools in the past.

In order to lift China to the next phase of growth, “which its leadership said shall be sustainable, Beijing must now broaden the range of basic education by stressing foreign languages, economics and social science in early learning,” said Blanke.

The WEF’s chief economist added that China was still in its early stages to transfer the economic achievements of its prosperous East coast.

Blanke said, the Chinese government has committed itself to invest in the infrastructure and economic development of the country’s rural areas in Central China and in the West.

Xinhua and Agencies

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