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Free Education
for Students in West Region

9 October 2006

From 2006, primary and high school students in China’s poor western region no longer need to pay their school fees. Instead, students from families with financial difficulties will receive 300 yuans of allowance each year. Many children previously forced to quit school have returned to the classroom.

The things are improving for the tertiary students too. According to the new policy, once they have served as a hands-on worker in a poor western region for a minimum three years, they’ll be no longer required to pay back the high education loans.

A spokesman for China’s Education Ministry said recently that the goal of the Chinese education is to offer an equal opportunity in education for all children, those in urban areas and in countryside, and those from affluent families and of poor background.

It is a 180 degree u turn of China’s education policy. Last year a response by the same spokesman to the question regarding sky rock high school fees caused a great public fury. He was reportedly said that education is a business and that if you don’t have much money you shouldn’t think of going to a good school.

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Ming Buddha

A gold-platting Buddha statue created during the reign of Emperor Yongle of Ming Dynasty (1402 – 1424) has returned to China. A Xiamen company won the auction held in Hong Kong for 116 million HK$, which is the highest price ever paid for a Chinese article.

It is one of two biggest Buddhist statues from that period known for their exquisite craftsmanship.

The winner says it plans to build a temple to house the statue.


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