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China pushing for education equality: minister

Updated: Aug 29,2018 2:02 PM     chinadaily.com.cn

China endeavors to narrow the gap between rural and urban education through a range of efforts, the education minister said in a report on education equality to the country’s top legislators.

The country has formulated unified standards on construction of school buildings, teaching staff quotas, public expenses per student and equipment for schools to eliminate the gap between rural and urban compulsory education, said Chen Baosheng, the education minister.

Chen made the report on Aug 28 at a meeting of the bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, the permanent arm of the top legislature. The meeting reviewed enforcement of the national economic and social development plan and budget implementation.

Unified standards on the construction of elementary and secondary schools have been rolled out, said Chen, and the staff quotas of rural schools have been raised to the same level as their urban counterparts.

The standard is one teacher for 19 students for elementary schools and one teacher for 13.5 students for junior middle schools.

The report says China has also set up a unified funding mechanism for compulsory education with emphasis given to rural schools.

Regarding the education of children of migrant workers, Chen said local education departments are urged to implement a policy that allows migrant children equal access to education resources as local children, as long as they hold residence permits in the places where their parents work.

China’s government has established a national school registration system where migrant children can finish procedures involved in cross-province school transfers online, said the report.

In 2017, the nationwide number of migrant children of compulsory education age stood at 14 million, of which 80 percent attended public schools while 7.5 percent studied at private schools through government-purchased services.

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