BEIJING - China's Ministry of Finance announced Tuesday it would allocate 56.63 billion yuan ($8.46 billion) from the central government budget to support nine-year compulsory education in the country's rural areas in 2011.
In a break down, 12.94 billion yuan would be used for textbook purchases, 33.53 billion yuan for schools' general expenses, and 5.87 billion yuan for allowances to students in boarding schools from poor families in the central and western regions.
More funds are expected to be allocated after approval next year by the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, the statement said.
According to China's Compulsory Education Law, Chinese children are entitled to nine years of free education, covering primary and junior high schools.
A white paper released in September by the Chinese government showed that by the end of 2009, about 99.7 percent of the nation's school-age population had access to nine-year education, and 99.5 percent of all counties offered nine-year compulsory education.