CHINA> National
Over 613,000 quake-hit students benefit from gov't aid
Updated: 2009-06-08 22:59

BEIJING - Government financial aid had helped 613,100 poor students from areas hit by last year's May 12 earthquake to complete their schooling, figures released by the ministries of finance and education Monday showed.

The central government had allocated 1.882 billion yuan (about US$275.3 million) to cover the schooling cost for 188,100 college students and 425,000 high school and secondary vocational students, the ministries said.

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The two ministries issued directives last August that impoverished students from the worst-hit areas would be exempt from tuition and boarding fees for the fall term last year and the spring term this year.

The aid was targeted at poor students in 51 worst-hit counties and districts in the May 12 quake zone.

According to the plan, an annual subsidy of 2,000 yuan per person was provided to high schools and 900 yuan per person to secondary vocational schools that have enrolled such students.

Students in high schools got 1,000-yuan subsidies for living expenses. The money came from the China Education Development Foundation.

For students in secondary vocational schools, the current state subsidy policy continues to offer 1,500 yuan per person annually.

Annual subsidies of 4,200 yuan per person were given to quake-zone universities and others enrolling a high number of students from quake-stricken regions.

The quake, which struck southwestern Sichuan and affected some parts of Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, left more than 87,000 people dead or missing. Property loss was valued at more than 800 billion yuan (US$117 billion), according to the latest official figures.