Govt spends chunk of GDP on education
Updated: 2011-07-16 11:16
By Chen Jia (China Daily)
BEIJING - China spent an amount equal to 3.69 percent of the country's GDP on education in 2010, a senior official of the Ministry of Finance said on Friday.
"Education is a long-term strategic investment, which the ministry will give more priority to in budgets before 2012," said Wu Guosheng, deputy director of the department of education, culture and science and technology under the Ministry of Finance.
In making such resolutions, the central government is trying to fulfill a promise it made in China's Medium- and Long-term Plan for Education Reform and Development (2010-2020). The plan calls for the country to spend an amount equal to 4 percent of its GDP on education in 2012.
Wu said the country's budget for education has risen by an average of 23.3 percent a year from 2006 and 2010. The rate of the increase exceeded that of the increase in fiscal spending during those years.
His remarks came at a news conference held by the Ministry of Education on Friday.
On July 6, the State Council ordered 10 percent of the profits the local governments made from land transfers to be put into education. The central government is striving, Wu explained, to find diverse sources for the additional 200 billion yuan ($31 billion) it wants to spend on improving education by 2012.
To put the plan into effect, the Ministry of Education has started 37 programs, Du Yubo, vice-minister of education, said at the conference on Friday.
"All of the programs have specified the amount of money they need and what they plan to do," he said.
Since the adoption of the plan, the Ministry of Education has started 425 test programs to promote reforms of the education system, he said.
The vice-minister said 11.67 million children of migrant workers in China have received compulsory educations, 12.7 percent more than had the year before.
The government spent 10 billion yuan to make campus buildings more secure in 2010, according to education officials.
The central government also plans to spend up to 1.5 billion yuan more to build more dormitories for teachers in rural regions. That is three times as much money as went to that purpose in 2010, the officials said on Friday.