[photopress:MBA_chen_Zhili.jpg,full,alignright]Chinese State Councilor Chen Zhili, seen in our illustration, has said China will exempt all students in urban areas from tuition fees in nine-year compulsory education from next year. She said the State Council has decided to exempt all educational fees of primary and junior high schools from the spring semester of 2008.
She urged local governments to make preparations for the new move and ensure enough fund are allocated for the compulsory education.
China exempted rural students in western regions from compulsory education fees in 2006 and the exemption policy was expanded to the central and eastern regions in 2007.
Chen Zhili also said the central government will help increase accommodation subsidies for needy students and to repair the ramshackle classrooms in central and western areas.