This Day, That Year

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - PAGE TWO -

Item­fromDec7,1982,in Chi­naDaily:XinXiqing,a 73-year-ol­dre­tired­worker,is sit­ting­foranEnglish­language­ex­am­i­na­tion­heldby theShang­haiSelf-Ed­u­ca­tion Ex­am­i­na­tionCom­mit­tee, whichof­fer­scol­legediplo­mas.

The­p­ro­vi­sion­about­com­pul­so­rypri­ma­rye­d­u­ca­tionin China’snewCon­sti­tu­tion­rep­re­sentsasig­nif­i­cant­move­for­ward,saidHeDongcheng, min­is­terofe­d­u­ca­tion.

In China, ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion has im­proved dra­mat­i­cally over the past few decades.

In 1949, more than 80 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion was il­lit­er­ate, and the en­roll­ment rate of school-age chil­dren was only 20 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to a gov­ern­ment white pa­per on the right to de­vel­op­ment is­sued last month.

Last year, net en­roll­ment rates reached new highs: pri­mary school-age chil­dren stood at 99.88 per­cent; nineyear com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion at 93 per­cent; and high school at 87 per­cent.

The en­roll­ment rate for higher ed­u­ca­tion hit a level ap­proach­ing that of medi­umde­vel­oped coun­tries. In 2014, China’s rank­ing in the UN Hu­man De­vel­op­ment In­dex was 90 among 188 coun­tries.

Mean­while, vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion has de­vel­oped fast in re­cent years, which was fur­ther strength­ened as the gov­ern­ment un­veiled the Made in China 2015 ini­tia­tive, lay­ing out strate­gies for switch­ing from low-end man­u­fac­tur­ing to more value-added pro­duc­tion.

Also in 2014, the cen­tral gov­ern­ment an­nounced that it ex­pects the num­ber of stu­dents re­ceiv­ing vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion to top 38 mil­lion by 2020. Cur­rently, 29 mil­lion stu­dents are en­rolled.

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