The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) on Thursday adopted the amendment to the Compulsory Education Law, aiming to give equal compulsory education to children in cities and in the countryside.
The Compulsory Education Law was promulgated in 1986 and the revised Compulsory Education Law will come into effect on September 1, 2006.
The revised law aims to give children in both cities and the countryside nine years of free compulsory education but the tuition charges will not be completely waived for a few years as clauses in the law still have to be approved by the State Council.
The expenditures will be jointly shouldered by the central government and local governments. And local governments should put the expenditure for compulsory education in their budgets.
Chen Xiaoya, Vice-Minister of Education said if governments fail to pay for the compulsory education in time, they will be disciplined.
She said the main aim of the law is to offer equal education to children no matter whether they live in the city or in the countryside.
The revised law said the children of migrant workers will enjoy equal education rights as children in cities and the education rights of children with disabilities should be also secured.
In cities, education resources, such as teachers, school facilities, programs designs and investment, should be equally allocated among schools. There will no longer be a division of schools into key schools and common ones, according to the revised law.
In a bid to improve education quality in rural schools, the law also requires teachers in urban schools to work in rural schools for a certain time to make up for the inadequate rural education resources.