Adult education has scored as great achievement in the development of China's reform. 76.93 million people became literate from 1978 to 1998, and nearly 200 million since the founding of the People's Republic of China. The literacy rate for two-thirds of counties (cities) in China reached 95% or over. Illiteracy can hardly be found among the workers in cities and towns. 10 units have been awarded UNESCO's International Literacy Awards in succession since 1984. According to the plan, the task of basically eradication illiteratcy among youth and middle-aged people will be accomplished by the end of the century.
The number of the employed who participate in job training has steadily developed. 348 million participated in the training among the public, collective enterprises or non-enterprise units alone from 1986 to 1997. Post-college further education was broadly launched to scientific, technical and management personnel in terms of supplementing or up-dating their knowledge. Millions of people participated in such kind of training each year. In the past 20 years of reform and opening-up, adult institutions of higher learning turned out as many as 9,242,100 graduates at university and short-cycle college levels. The accumulated number of participants in the self-taught students. The total number of students in primary, secondary schools for adults and in institutions of adult education reached 5,385,500; 67, 127, 700 and 2, 822, 200 students respectively.
In recent years, the conditions of school buildings, teaching instruments and equimpment and teaching force in adult educational establishment have been enriched and improved to a great extent with steady promotion of quality and effectiveness. According to the current statistics, there are 962 independently established institutions of adult education with 200,390 faculty and staff members. Correspondence programmes and evening schools for academic education are organized by 1,311 regular institutions of adult education. There are over 400,000 secondary schools and 180,000 primary schools for adults. Schools of adult education have become important educational resource of the country.