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Balanced development of compulsory education: Cornerstone of education equity

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image of Frontiers of Education in China

Balanced development of compulsory education is not only the cornerstone of education equity, but also the fundamental part for realizing a harmonious society. There have been several achievements in balancing the development of compulsory education in China, such as narrowing the gaps in compulsory education between rural, urban, and other areas. However, the development of compulsory education is still confronted with several issues, including the gaps between rural and urban schools, the gaps between teacher’s situations in rural and urban area, higher drop-out rates of rural compulsory education than that of the national average level, etc. Based on the analysis of these issues and reasons, the suggestions for the policy-makers are as follows: (1) it must be further clarified that governments at all levels must take all responsibilities for the balanced development of compulsory education so as to integrate local authorities’ input and the central government’s subsidies; (2) the allocation mechanism of resources for compulsory education should be set up with “qualitative and fair growth” as its aim; (3) The quality standard for compulsory education based on the national curriculum standard should be worked out for playing the role of quality inspection in the fair development of compulsory education, and a relevant system of responsibility should also be established; (4) A national unified card for compulsory education should be adopted, which would help abolish extra fees for non-permanent-resident students receiving compulsory education in other places and (5) civilian-sponsored schools should be encouraged to offer compulsory education.


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