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The educational development during the 10th 5-Year Plan

The educational development during the 10th 5-Yearl Plan and the Plans for the 11th 5-Year Plan

I. Major Educational Achievements during the 10th Five-Year Plan

During the 10th Five-year Plan, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, the educational sector in China continues to adopt Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thoughts of “Three Represents” as the guidance and to set up and implements a rational philosophy of development.  We have consolidated achievements, deepened reforms, improved quality and pursued sustainable development.  New progresses were scored for the nation’s education reform and development, making new contributions to the nation’s modernization process and socio-economic development.

(1). Education in rural areas has experienced fundamental changes and new progress made for the universalization of 9-year compulsory education

The CPC Central Committee and the State Council attach great importance to education in rural areas.  During the 10th Five-year Plan, the State Council held National Working Conference on Basic Education and National Working Conference on Education in Rural Areas, specifying educational development in rural areas as a strategic priority. The central government initiated and implemented a series of projects and policies aiming to accelerate the development of education in rural areas, such as the State’s Compulsory Education Project in Poverty-Stricken Areas, The Project for the Reconstruction of Dilapidated School Buildings in Rural Primary and Secondary Schools, and the Project for Making Breakthroughs in Universalizing Compulsory Education and Eradicating Illiteracy among Middle and Young-aged Groups in Western China.  Through these projects and policies, condition for education provision in rural areas, especially in poverty-stricken areas, has been greatly improved and the difficulty of schooling for students from poor families has been further relieved.  At the end of 2005, the State Council decided to reform the funding assurance system for compulsory education in the countryside, thus bringing rural compulsory education expenditure into the overall public funding assurance framework.  This strategic measure will benefit millions of farmers and bring fundamental changes to compulsory education in rural areas.

During the 10th 5-Year Plan, we have regarded the consolidation and improvement of the existing achievements in ‘Univerlization of 9-Year Compulsory Education and Eradication of Illiteracy Among Young and Middle-aged Groups’ as the fundamental tasks for educational reform and development in China.  With the adoption of relevant polices and programmes, we have intensified our efforts and entered into a new stage. Statistics show that nine-year compulsory education had covered over 95% of the relevant age group in China in 2005, a 10% increase over the year 2000.  In 2005, 108,640,700 students studied in primary schools and the attendance rate amounted to 99.15%, representing an increase of 0.05% of that of 2000; the gross enrollment rate for junior secondary schools amounted to 95% with a total enrollment of 62,149,400 students, a 6% increase from that of year 2000.  In addition, 69.68% of graduates from junior secondary schools could continue their study in high school education, an 18.51% increase over that of year 2000.  Pre-school education has enjoyed stable development with 21,790,300 enrolled in kindergartens and a gross attendance rate of 41.4%, representing a 1.92% increase over the year 2000. Literacy education has been further promoted with 9,717,300 being trained out of illiteracy during the 10th 5-Year Plan period.  The illiteracy rate of the middle and young aged group has been kept below 4%.  Minority education and special education also witnessed continuous development. 

(2). Secondary Vocational Education developed with readjustment and the scale of High School Education has been significantly expanded

During the 10th 5-year Plan, the State Council held two National Working Conferences on Vocational Education.  In the conferences, it was clarified that vocational education will be service-based and employment-oriented. Vocational education has incrementally realized the change from being plan-based to market-oriented, from the direct involvement of the government to the macro-management of the government, from the traditional graduation-oriented to employment-oriented.  To meet the nation’s need in new industrialization and find out solutions for the problems in agriculture, rural areas and farmers, the Chinese government adopted “Training Program in Vocational Schools for Urgently-needed Talents in the Manufacture and Service Industry” and “Training Program for the Transfer of Rural Labor Forces”.  In 2005, China had 15,591,900 students in secondary vocational schools, 2,747,300 more than that of 2000 with an annual increasing rate of 3.95%.  In 2005, the total enrollment of secondary vocational education reached 6,640,000, fulfilling the earlier-set target of recruiting 1,000,000 more students than the year 2004.  The sliding of secondary vocational education has been successfully reversed.  In the meantime, non-degree education and training at various levels have also witnessed robust development.  During the 10th Five-year Plan, 403,467,200 person/times were trained through various types of vocational education with an annual number of 80,690,000 person/times.

At the same time, the scale of high school education has been rapidly expanded with significant increase in the gross enrollment rate.  In 2005, students in senior secondary education (including regular high schools, adult high schools, regular secondary special schools, vocational high schools and adult secondary special school) amounted to 39,900,900, 14,719,700 more than that of 2000 with an annual increase rate of 9.64%.  The gross attendance rate reached 52.7% in 2005, a 9.9% increase over the year 2000.  During the 10th Five-year Plan, the number of regular high school students has been doubled.  In 2005, it amounted to 24,090,900, representing an increase of 12,078,300 students of the year 2000 with an annual increase rate of 14.93%.

(3) Higher education gains a steady and sound growth, contributing to the social and economic development in terms of human resource and knowledge

In 2005, there were 23,000,000 students recruited by various higher education institutions (HEIs), 10,710,000 more than that of the year 2000.  China has realized the internationally recognized “mass higher education”, with a gross enrollment rate of 21%, an 8.5% increase of that of year 2000.

In 2005, 6,972,500 students were newly recruited by HEIs (including regular HEIs, adult colleges and postsecondary/technical colleges), 3,204,900 more than that of 2000, with an average annual increase of 13.1%.  Among those, 5,044,600 were admitted to regular HEIs and postsecondary/technical colleges, an increase by 2,838,500 of that of the year 2000, with an average annual growth rate of 17.99%.  In 2005, 364,800 students were admitted to graduate schools, 236,300 more than that of the year 2000, with an average year-on-year increase of 23.21%.  Also in 2005, a total number of 978,600 postgraduate were studying on campus, 677,400 more than that of the year 2000, with an average annual increase of 26.58%.

The capacity of education provision and social contribution of HEIs has been further improved. The 211 Project and 985 Scheme have successfully moved forward.  Teaching quality has been improved and greater importance attached to the students’ capacity of innovation, hands-on application and entrepreneurship. 

Statistics show that HEIs play a greater role in solving important social and economic problems than before. During 10th 5-Year Plan, HEIs have won 75 National Natural Science Awards, 55.07% of the total; 64 National Invention Awards, 64.4% of the total; 433 National Science and Technology Progress Awards, 53.57% of the total. Among them, there is one First Prize of the National Science Awards, and two First Prizes of the National Invention Awards, with the latter filling a 6-year blank.

In terms of social science, HEIs also have actively participated in the research of Marxism theory. The Action Plan of Prospering HEIs’ Humanity and Social Sciences has developed smoothly, boosting the development of humanity and social sciences in HEIs.

(4) Quality education and moral education have gained a new momentum

Quality education has been comprehensively promoted with the central government taking the leadership and emphasizing breakthroughs in key areas.  In September 2005, a new round of curricular reform in basic education was started with the participation of all primary and junior secondary schools across 31 provinces/autonomous regions/municipalities and the senior secondary schools in 4 provinces/autonomous regions/municipalities. Great efforts are being made to improve the teachers’ quality, particularly in rural areas, to balance the development of compulsory education and to reform the poor schools, so as to create a favorable environment for further promoting quality education.

Meanwhile, in order to better implement the CPC Central Committee’s directives on promoting moral education of minors as well as university students, efforts have been made to formulate a system of moral education for primary and secondary school students, which integrates moral education of primary schools, secondary schools and universities together to improve the purposefulness, effectiveness, attractiveness and influence of moral education in China.  As part of the campaign, the curriculum reform and textbook development have also been strengthened while the party building among educational sector has been further enhanced as well.

(5) All the reforms have been deepened to create a more stable basis for educational development

Progress has been witnessed in reforming and improving the management mechanism of education. The new mechanism for rural compulsory education has been established in which “the State Council takes the leadership, local governments assumes the responsibility with proper division of management and the county-level governments takes the main the main responsibility”.  A new mechanism for vocational education has also been preliminarily established in which “the State Council takes the leadership, local governments at various levels undertakes the main responsibility for educational provision with proper division of management, governments provide coordination and overall planning and the whole society participate in this process”.  In addition, the mechanism for higher education has been also improved, in which a two-tiered management system involving both central and provincial governments takes shape with the latter assuming the major role.

With the acceleration of the reform on schooling regulations, non-governmental education has made rapid growth.  In 2005, there were 30,575,500 students taking formal and non-formal programs in non-governmental institutions, an increase of 16,854,500 of the year 2000, with an average annual increase of 17.38%.  The framework, in which government plays a major role with contribution from various social sectors, and public and non-state institutions advance together, has further been formulated.

Great progress is made in educational legislation. The “Law on the Promotion of Non-state Education”, “Regulations on Chinese-Foreign Cooperation in Running Schools” and their respective implementing measures are issued, while breakthroughs are made for the amendment of “Compulsory Education Law” and the preliminary research for a series of important amendment and legislation, therefore improving the educational legislation system at large.

International cooperation and exchange in education has being enhanced, improving the international competitiveness of China in the field of education.  Mechanism for regular consultations with relevant countries has been established and multilateral cooperation has been actively promoted.  The Ministry of Education of China actively plays its role in UNESCO and other international organizations.  The amounts of Chinese students studying abroad and international students coming to study in China have greatly increased, and the on-schedule return rate of overseas governmental sponsored Chinese students and scholars has reached 97%. The international promotion of Chinese as a foreign language has made new breakthroughs.  For example, the “Chinese Bridge Project” has been carried out and the development of Confucius Institute in other countries has made encouraging progress.  Moreover, those studying Chinese in other countries and regions have outnumbered 30 million.

(6). We have earnestly solved focus problems with most difficulty and worked hard to ensure that educational provision meets with the needs of the public

Efforts have been made to financially aid the students from poor families and the policy of “two remissions and one subsidy” (remission of miscellaneous fees and textbook fees, and the subsidy of a living allowance for boarding students) has been fully implemented.  In 2005, 34,000,000 students from poor families in central and western regions were supplied with free textbooks. In the 592 counties under a national poverty alleviation program, students from poor families receiving compulsory education have all enjoyed the remission of miscellaneous fees.  Loans for poor students have also been carried out in accordance with new policies and mechanisms.  Indiscriminate collection of educational fees is resolutely curbed.  The single-fee system for schools offering compulsory education has been practiced in 31 provinces, which actually has relieved the economic burden of the public and effectively prevented unreasonable collection of educational fees from further spreading.  With the charging activity being standardized, people’s satisfaction with education is further enhanced.  In addition, problems in university enrollment have been earnestly dealt with as well.  The “Sunshine Project” has been implemented, and more open and transparent enrollment system established and perfected to better accept supervision from the public and the media.  The employability of university graduates is further improved. In 2005, the amounts of university graduates reached 3,380,000, a new record in history.  With the austere employment situation of the whole society, the employability of university graduates has been progressing smoothly in general and the rate of graduates immediately finding a job after graduation is being kept at over 70%.  The educational situation of children of migrant workers has greatly developed and education for children in rural areas has attracted great attention.

The development of Chinese education in the 10th 5-year plan shows that our strategy of taking education as the priority is more materialized, the achievement of education development is refulgent, and reform is fruitful. Rapid educational development has realized the goal of changing China from a country only with a huge population to a country with rich and valuable human resources.  By 2004, the average schooling year of those over 15 years old reached 8.3 years.  More than 70, 000,000 had received education at or above the levels of secondary and higher education.  The general education level of the work forces has improved from primary education to junior secondary education.


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