[photopress:MBA_Hu_Jintao_1.jpg,full,alignright]A senior official with the Department of Education, Science and Culture of the Ministry of Finance has said in an interview with Xinhua that education has been listed as the priority area for the central government to increase input in the coming years.
This echoes President Hu Jintao (seen in our illustration with a younger student) who said when speaking to 100 model teachers marking China’s 23rd Teachers’ Day, that education should be developed in priority to help train more professional and skilled people for the building of a well-off society in an all-round way and propelling of socialist modernization.
He vowed to support the development of education with more fiscal input.
The Ministry of Finance said that China’s fiscal budget on education in 2007 reached RMB646.1 billion ($85 billion), RMB105.3 billion ($13.9 billion) more than that of the previous year, up 19.5% year-on-year, higher than the 15.7% growth rate of national fiscal budget.
The ministry said that in the first half of 2007, China’s input into education within the budget increased over 30% in comparison with the same period of last year.
During the tenth five-year plan period between 2001 and 2005, China’s input on education within the budget totaled RMB1.5 trillion ($200.4 billion) realizing an annual increase of 17.63%.
According to the ministry, this year, the increased government input into education will be used in four main areas: rural education, subsidies to poor students, high-schools and colleges, and vocational education.
To train more professional and skilled talents in the coming years, the central government planned to input RMB14 billion on the development of vocational education in the 11th five-year period. The fund will be used to set up more training bases for the vocational schools and further improve teaching quality of those schools.
Source: China Daily