Government aid funds give hope to more Chinese students

Students of a rural school in east China's Zhejiang Province have their art and craft class. (Photo from the People’s Daily)
Students of a rural school in east China's Zhejiang Province have their art and craft class. (Photo from the People’s Daily)

A total of 775 million students of all levels from pre-school up to university have benefited from China’s financial support since the country launched the nationwide student aid program in 2007.

In the given period, China spent more than 1 trillion yuan ($150 billion) to prevent students from dropping out of school for financial reason, according to the data released by the Ministry of Education (MOE).

Over the years after the State Council made a comprehensive and systematic plan for the student financial aid in a document released in May, 2007, a rising number of students has benefited from the rapidly growing aid.

Most of the financial aid came from government finance, as the figure stood at 726.1 billion yuan ($109.8 billion) over the years, making up 68.87 percent of the combined amount.

In the past decade, China has created 40-plus policies and documents on financial help for students, with 29 aid programs, the ministry said.

Currently, financial help is available to students from pre-school kindergartens to post-graduate studies, from public to private schools, and for all families in poverty, the ministry added.

A study by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) concluded
that people at different education levels may contribute a varied growth to labor productivity, with the figure for undergraduate, junior and high school students, as well as primary school ones standing at 300 percent, 108 percent and 43 percent respectively.

The organization also sets the correlation coefficient between average schooling years and the average GDP per capita as 0.562.

Given the fundamental and sustained importance of education to poverty elimination, China’s battle against poverty has to place education at a higher agenda, especially when it now eyes for more targeted approaches.

Describing China’s anti-poverty fight as “creating-blood” type poverty alleviation in a report, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) hailed the Chinese way is not only a vital experience drawn from decades of efforts, but also a path heading to the final goal.

By Lin Rui from People’s Daily/

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