A hotline was operated by the Ministry of Education between August 15 and September 15 ahead of the autumn semester. The hotline’s aim was to serve students who wanted to go to university but couldn’t afford the tuition.
Hotline principal Ma Wenhua said calls for help must be dealt with immediately — within three days at most.
Ma, who also a National Center for Student Assistance Administration official, said, ‘As knowledge of the funding policy had more vigorously spread in these years, most local students and colleges knew it very well.’
Now in its fourth year, the 20 workers taking the calls have handled 2,363 calls this year.
Statistics show 71% of the calls were made to consult about the funding policy, while 28% (654 calls) complained local colleges had failed to abide by the rules to support students.
Ma said that with complaints the hotline team reports the problems to student assistance centers at the provincial level every five working days. Each complaint is dealt with within one week.
Ma Wenhua said, ‘The hotline provides a channel for students and parents to consult and report various problems, drawing the funding organizations closer to those poor children. But more importantly, it directly brought the central government’s care to the poor students.’
Statistics show the government spent RMB27.3 billion (about $4 billion) last year to aid college students, up 49% from the previous year.
The ministry pledged earlier this year the government thatno students will drop out of colleges or universities because of poverty.
Among the 20 million students in the country’s public and private universities and colleges last year, about 20% were from poverty-stricken backgrounds.
Source: China View