Chinese President Hu Jintao delivers a speech during the work conference on national education held in Beijing from July 13 to July 14, 2010. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
BEIJING, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao on Wednesday urged the Communist Party of China and the whole country to give priority to education in their work, in order to build a moderately prosperous society, push forward socialist modernization, and achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Hu made the remarks during a high-profile work conference on national education in Beijing.
Education was the cornerstone of national rejuvenation and social progress, and the basic means to improve all-round development of individuals, Hu said during the conference.
Strategic priority should be given to education in the work of the Party and the country, he said, adding that financing and public resources should be allocated in favor of education and human resources development.
He said education reform and development should be student-oriented, and urged authorities to implement quality education, to hone the students' sense of responsibility, their innovative spirit, and their capacity to solve practical problems.
He said authorities should be innovative when deepening education reform and enhancing international education cooperation, and should promote education equality by protecting citizens' lawful rights to education, supporting those in need, and promoting balanced education development between different regions and between urban and rural areas.
He also urged authorities to focus on the quality of education, and called for efforts to put together a contingent of noble, enthusiastic and high-quality teachers.
China's National Plan for Medium and Long-term Education Reform and Development should be fully carried out, Hu said, adding the whole society should be mobilized to support the country's education development.
Premier Wen Jiabao also delivered a speech, stressing that the goal to raise educational spending to 4 percent of GDP by 2012, envisaged in the plan, shows the Party and the government's resolution to promote educational reform and development.
Wen identified five objectives in promoting education development: to promote equal access to education, to promote diversification in the education sector, to focus education on all-around development of students, to deepen reform of education system and to staff the nation's schools with good teachers.
Wen noted that more educational resources should be channeled to underdeveloped areas and urged that students from low-income families be able to afford schooling.
Wen also recommended giving full play to the private sector to run educational institutions and to attach greater importance to vocational education.
Further, Wen urged the deepening of curriculum reform so that students could develop in an all-around manner.
Wen also said governments should interfere less with decision-making and management of schools so that schools become less bureaucratic.
Wen urged providing even better treatment and even more respect to teachers, so that teaching could be the most-wanted job in China.
Senior leaders Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang also attended the conference.