(5) Right to education
Priority will be given to compulsory education and rural education; vocational education will be developed with great efforts, and the quality of higher learning will be enhanced; after-school education will be promoted, so as to guarantee the citizens' right to equal schooling.
- The Outline of State Medium- and Long-term Program on Education Reform and Development through 2020 will be worked out, and the goals, tasks, and main measures of reform and development will be defined. The final aim is to raise the overall educational level of Chinese citizens.
- Nine-year compulsory education will be comprehensively implemented to achieve a net enrollment rate of 99 percent in elementary schools, gross enrollment rate of 98 percent in junior high schools, and retention rate of 95 percent for students during three years of junior high school. The efforts to eliminate illiteracy among young and middle-aged people will continue, to cut the illiteracy rate among them to below 4 percent. The state will make sure that almost all the children of migrant workers will receive nine-year compulsory education, that children in medium-sized and large cities and economically developed areas will receive three years of pre-school education, and the number of rural children receiving one-year pre-school education will be in-creased markedly.
- The balanced development of compulsory education will be promoted, with emphasis placed on running every school well and caring for the healthy growth of every child. With an active response to the "inclusive education" advocated by the UNESCO, both the physical and the mental health of every child will be stressed. Special attention will be paid to raising the educational quality of rural schools and reforming urban schools that remain weak in teaching.
- The progress of rural education will be accelerated. The state will ensure teachers of middle and elementary schools in rural areas receive their salaries in full and on time and the schools' operating outlay is guaranteed. Renovation of the buildings of junior high schools in rural areas in central and western China, and building of clean school campuses in the new countryside will be carried out. Distance-education network of rural schools will be completed. Special programs will continue to attract college graduates to work at rural schools. For instance, they can apply for teaching posts at rural elementary and junior high schools, or volunteer to teach in western China. They may get free enrollment for a master's degree in education if they work for a certain period in rural schools.
- Vocational education will be boosted by building 2,000 key vocational practice bases with complete array of disciplines, good facilities and rich resources that can be shared by all. Support will also be given to the construction of a batch of county-level vocational education centers, secondary vocational schools and 100 model vocational colleges.
- The central government has appropriated special funds for the project of improving the quality of undergraduate teaching and reform at institutions of higher learning. The 211 Program(This is a program of the Chinese government to give priority to the building of 100 key institutions of higher learning and a batch of key branches of learning in the 21st century.) and the 985 Program(Launched by the Ministry of Education in May 1998, the program aimed at building a number of world-class universities and some universities with advanced international level that are well-known in the world.) will continue to quicken the construction of high-level universities.
- After-school education will be expanded. In 2009 and 2010, the central government will pool 3 billion yuan of lottery earnings to support the building and operation of after-school facilities, and by 2010 every county(district) across the country will have one venue for after-school activities to guarantee the right of minors to after-school education.
- The system of assistance to poor students will be improved by increasing budget inputs, implementing all policies concerning financial aid to such students, expanding the assistance coverage and raising the level of assistance.