BEIJING, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Education said Thursday every primary and middle school student in mudslide-hit Zhouqu County will have new textbooks when the new school semester starts.
"We have asked publishing houses to rush to print and prepare textbooks for Zhouqu. All of them promised to have them ready by the start of the new semester," ministry spokeswoman Xu Mei said Thursday.
Schools in Zhouqu in northwest China's Gansu Province are scheduled to begin the autumn semester on Aug. 16.
Some 334,075 volumes of textbooks and support material for Zhouqu's primary and middle school students were kept in a storehouse belonging to the local Xinhua Bookstore that was destroyed by the massive mudslides.
Primary and middle schools in Zhouqu need 180,000 textbooks for the new semester, the Ministry of Education said.
Xu said the publishing houses will send the textbooks to the provincial Xinhua Bookstore in Gansu before Aug. 14.
The ministry also vowed to ensure the supply of textbooks to other areas severely hit by natural disasters, including flood-hit Jilin Province in northeastern China.
In addition, Xu Mei said poor students from disaster-hit areas entering college will receive preferential treatment in enrolment and in application for loans.
The ministry has asked colleges to investigate the financial situation of freshmen from the disaster-hit areas.
The death toll due to the massive mudslides in Zhouqu in the early hours of Sunday had, as of Wednesday, risen to 1,117, with 627 still missing.