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China initiates action plan for invigorating education
   China officially initiates its "2003-2007 Action Plan for Invigorating Education" in an effort to accelerate educational reform and development, Minister of Education Zhou Ji announced at a press conference Wednesday.

Zhou Ji, Minister of Education, answers questions at a press conference, March 24.

    The Action Plan, serving as guidelines for China's educational development in its present crucial state, noted Zhou, lays out the blueprints for carrying out further the strategy of rejuvenating China through science and education and through human resource development.

    The document lists six major projects China will implement in the coming five years, including on quality-oriented education, on innovation in vocational education and training, on teaching quality and teaching reform in institutions of higher education, on employment promotion for college graduates, on educational informatization, and on building up a competent teaching and administration system.

    Among these, said Zhou at a press conference here hosted by the Information Office under the State Council, programs on higher education and on educational informatization have started.

    According to the plan, the government's investment in education will expand faster than the growth of the nation's fiscal income, and the government will gradually increase the students'educational expenses and the teachers'salary.

    China's investment in education currently accounts for 3.41 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) and China aims for it to reach 4 percent of its GDP in a relatively short period of time,Zhou said, noting that the increased investment will mainly be spent on rural education, particularly compulsory education in the countryside. Enditem

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