Rural students deserve better

Updated: 2011-08-10 07:56

(China Daily)

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In early 2009, Xinhua carried a signed article by Premier Wen Jiabao which lamented the gradual drop in the proportion of students from rural areas in universities. According to data gathered by university professors, the proportion of rural students in Peking University is 10 percent while that in Tsinghua University is 17 percent, says an article in Xi'an Evening News. Excerpts:

The fall in the proportion of rural students in universities is the result of different situations in cities and the countryside. Urban areas have better teachers and education resources. Schools in rural areas, on the other hand, are fraught with outflow of talent, and shortage of teachers and education resources.

If things continue in the same vein, a disproportionately higher percentage of students from provincial capitals and other cities will enter Peking, Tsinghua and other universities.

Besides, examination questions and terms for admission to universities are favorable to urban students, increasing the unfairness. For example, according to Peking University figures, in the last five years, it has admitted about 70 percent students from large and medium-sized cities and only about 6 percent from rural areas.

We should start the education reform from the admission process to ensure fairness, and the government should allocate more education resources to rural areas.

China has introduced a plan to educate students to become teachers in rural areas. But it will take some years before the plan fructifies. So, in the short term, quality teachers should be sent to rural schools at regular intervals.

Francis Bacon said that to guarantee fair education to all, the poor should not inherit poverty from generation to generation. That's why increasing the proportion of rural students in universities is important if we want to provide fair education to all and build a harmonious society.

China Daily

(China Daily 08/10/2011 page9)