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Public opinions sought on 12-year education plan
Updated: 2009-01-08 08:18

The public began commenting on a 12-year education reform and development plan, said the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Beijing Wednesday.

The MOE is collecting opinions from the public as well as experts via the Internet and in letters, said Sun Xiaobing, a senior official with the MOE who is leading the draft work on Wednesday.

"It is the country's first education plan in the 21st century. It will be a very complicated project involving the whole of society," he stressed.

The comment period began Wednesday and will end in February.

According to Sun, the State Council, China's cabinet, approved a report on the draft plan made by the MOE in August last year.

The report said that in the next 12 years, the Chinese government should give priority to education. The MOE will promote educational equality and cultivate talent in innovative technology.

The MOE also wants to relieve primary students from homework burdens and provide better salaries to teachers in rural schools.

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"It is necessary to make a medium and long-term plan for education reform in accordance with the new trend of domestic and overseas development and the new expectations of the public," Sun said.

Based on previous discussions by experts, the 12-year plan is expected to cover issues such as improving the quality of education, expanding compulsory education and reforming the education of the migrant population.

Sun indicated that 11 working teams with 500 high-level experts have been selected to work on 36 specific education issues throughout China. Since August last year, they have held 251 discussions and finished 160 investigations throughout the country.

They also talked to six educational associations, higher education research institutes as well as the World Bank.

"They represent different walks of life and will give a more general picture of what people need and what we should do," Sun said.

The MOE did not release a specific date as to when a revised version of the 12-year plan will be published.

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