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Full Text: Report on the Work of the Government(6)

2013-03-19 09:07 Xinhua     Web Editor: Mo Hong'e comment

4. Steadfastly implementing the strategy for making China strong through the development of science and education, and boosting the country's core ability to sustain economic and social development

We accelerated implementation of the National Plan for Long- and Medium-Term Scientific and Technological Development; formulated and implemented the National Plan for Long- and Medium-Term Education Reform and Development, the National Plan for Long- and Medium-Term Development of Competent Personnel and the national strategy on intellectual property rights. This gave impetus to all-around progress in science and technology, education, and culture and laid a solid foundation for ensuring China's long-term development.

We gave high priority to developing education. Government spending on education totaled 7.79 trillion yuan over the past five years, increasing at an average annual rate of 21.58% to reach 4% of GDP in 2012. We allocated educational resources, giving priority to rural, remote, poor and ethnic minority areas and made notable progress in improving fairness in education. We made free nine-year compulsory education universal across the country, benefiting 160 million students. A three-year action plan for preschool education was carried out, and the shortage of preschools was eased. We improved the system of state financial aid to students, and established a system for giving students from poor families financial aid from preschool through graduate school. We spent approximately 100 billion yuan annually for this purpose and assisted nearly 80 million students. We implemented the policy of tuition-free secondary vocational education for all rural students and all urban students who study agriculture-related majors or are from poor families. The problem of providing compulsory education to children of rural migrants working in cities was basically solved, and 12.6 million children with rural residence status are now receiving compulsory education in cities. We implemented the plan for improving nutrition of rural students receiving compulsory education to the benefit of over 30 million students. We completed the project to improve the safety of primary and secondary school buildings. We sped up development of infrastructure for vocational and special education. The pay of teachers in compulsory education is now linked to their performance. Students majoring in education at teachers universities directly under the Ministry of Education were exempted from paying tuition, and the ranks of rural teachers were strengthened. The quality and level of education in China was comprehensively raised, and the gross college enrollment rate rose to 30%. The education level of the people was raised significantly, and the average length of schooling of people over the age of 15 now exceeds nine years.

We vigorously promoted innovation. The central government spent 872.9 billion yuan to develop science and technology in the past five years, with an average annual increase of over 18%. China's R&D spending accounted for 1.97% of GDP in 2012, up from 1.4% in 2007, and over 74% of this spending was made by companies. The Guidelines on Deepening Reform of the Management System for Science and Technology and Accelerating Development of a National Innovation System were adopted. We carried out a national technology innovation project and a knowledge innovation project, made solid progress in implementing major national R&D projects, and set up a number of national engineering centers, key laboratories and enterprise technology centers. We boosted basic research and research in frontier areas, made breakthroughs in a number of core and key technologies, and filled in gaps in many important products and equipment.

We implemented the strategy for making China strong through training competent personnel. We trained more personnel of all types, with the focus on high-level and highly skilled personnel. As a result, the number of personnel with special expertise and highly skilled personnel increased by 8.6 million and 8.8 million respectively. A total of 540,000 overseas students returned.

We put greater effort into developing the cultural sector. A network of public cultural facilities covering both urban and rural areas is taking shape, and all museums, libraries and cultural centers in China are open to the public free of charge. We basically transformed state-owned for-profit cultural institutions into business enterprises, and deepened reform of internal operating mechanisms of nonprofit cultural institutions. Philosophy and the social sciences, the press and publishing, radio, television and film, and literature and art are flourishing, and cultural industries developed rapidly. We made major progress in protecting cultural relics and preserving and passing on intangible cultural heritage. Cultural exchanges with other countries increased. New progress was made in nationwide fitness activities and competitive sports.

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