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China commemorates 100th anniversary of infant education
( 2003-10-16 09:22) (Xinhua)

A conference and seminar was held in Beijing Wednesday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of infant education in China.

Attending the conference were more than 800 education researchers, university and kindergarten teachers from across the country.

In a speech, Xu Jialu, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, extended regards and thanks to infant educators nationwide and encouraged them to make greater efforts to improve the field.

State Councilor Chen Zhili said that China's infant education is still at a low level and there is a big gap in development between rural and urban areas.

Infant education in China could not cope with the country's social and economic development, said Chen, while calling for moreawareness of the problems by governments of all levels.

China set up its first kindergarten in 1903 in central China's Hubei Province, ushering in early childhood.

The number of infants enrolled in kindergartens in China has been rising by 2 percent to 12 percent annually since 1987. In 2002, the number of kindergartens registered in China reached 111,800.

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