At a meeting chaired by Premier LI Keqiang on May 23, the State Council Standing Committee approved a decision to raise funding for education in poverty-stricken areas to ensure equitable and equal distribution of educational resources across the country.
Four measures were outlined to implement the decision: First, an additional RMB 7 billion will be invested in educational infrastructure in six of the country's poorest areas. Second, a further RMB 13 billion of funding will be earmarked to support compulsory and vocational education in central and western regions, poverty-stricken and rural areas. Third, 10,000 more special teaching positions will be created to bolster educational resources in regions affected by extreme poverty. Fourth, the average salary of teachers in compulsory education will be raised to match that of civil servants, and living allowances and training will be increased for rural teachers.
The meeting also required that more kindergartens should be built in urban areas, by attracting more private investment, for example, to meet the growing demand for quality preschool education.