China has decided to improve basic schooling conditions for compulsory education in poverty-stricken areas, according to a new document unveiled Wednesday. "Schools in poor areas are a weak link in China's education cause," Xinhua reported citing a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council, the country's Cabinet, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.
Improving the basic school conditions in poor areas is a move to safeguard the basic livelihood and promote equal access to education and social equity, it said. The Chinese government will prioritise the impoverished rural areas in the country's central and western areas, while taking into consideration poor areas in other regions.
China will adjust the structure of education expenditures by central and provincial finances to improve weak links in compulsory education in poor areas, the statement said. In three to five years, school buildings are expected to meet safety requirements, such as anti-earthquake and fire control standards, facilities should be able to meet the basic education and living needs, and the quality of teachers should meet the basic needs of compulsory education.
According to China's Compulsory Education Law, Chinese children are entitled to nine years of free education, covering primary and junior high schools.