BEIJING, June 21 (Xinhua) -- The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Monday approved an education reform plan for the next decade, which aims for greater education investment and fairer distribution of resources.
Presided over by the CPC Central Committee General Secretary Hu Jintao,a meeting of the Politburo approved the final version of the Medium- and Long-term National Educational Reform and Development Plan (2010-2020).
The Politburo, the CPC's top decision-making body, said in a statement that education was the fundamental cause for the revitalization of China and social progress in the future.
China had established the largest education system in the world since the founding of the People's Republic, which ensured education rights for millions of people, the statement said.
The government promote educational fairness as a basic policy and increase education investment in rural, remote and ethnic minority areas, the Politburo agreed.
According to the plan, government investment will increase steadily to support the education sector, with the ratio of education expenditure in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) to be 4 percent by 2012.
In 2008, the ratio stood at 3.48 percent, compared with the average international level of 4.5 percent.
The plan, released at the end of February for public scrutiny, was seen as setting the tone for the development of the education sector in China, which has long suffered from funding shortages and unbalanced development in rural and urban areas.
The plan said giving students fairer access to quality education would be a "fundamental policy," with more public education resources for rural, impoverished and ethnic areas.
The reforms would also encourage private organizations and individuals to play a greater role in the education system, said the statement.
The plan took one year and nine months to draw up, during which public submissions were invited on two separate occasions.