China raises subsidies for needy students

Updated: 2012-08-30 21:27


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BEIJING - China has raised subsidies for students from financially-difficult families to ensure all children of school age study at schools, officials have said.

Officials from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance made the comment in a Q&A interview with Xinhua on Thursday.

Since the education reform and development outline was issued in 2010, the country has improved its system of offering subsidies to students, including preschoolers and high school students, and improving nutrition for rural students during their years of compulsory education, according to the officials.

China has expanded the scale of subsidies, including those to help more poor students in more fields, and standards for offering subsidies have also been raised, they said.

The annual subsidy for each needy pupil is currently 1,000 yuan ($157.5) during compulsory education in rural areas, two times the amount offered in 2009. That for each student pursuing college education has been raised to 3,000 yuan, 1,000 yuan more than in 2009.

The educational fund system has covered many fields, helping poor families solve not only basic learning needs but also living needs when their children are at school.

From 2007 to 2011, subsidies reached 352.62 billion yuan, with 243.17 billion yuan, or 69 percent, coming from government funds, according to the officials.

Moreover, social funds also increased over the four-year period to reach 109.45 billion yuan, or 31 percent of the total funds.

The government has also encouraged colleges to recruit more students from under-developed areas in the country's western regions in order to promote balanced education among different regions.

China currently exempts students in both urban and rural areas from school fees during their years of compulsory education, provides free textbooks for students from needy families and offers subsidies to underprivileged students from rural areas.

The government has also adopted favorable policies to boost the development of pre-school education to ensure needy children, orphans and the disabled enjoy preschool educations.