China needs more village schools

Updated: 2012-07-25 19:00


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The Education Ministry said on July 23 that it will seek public advice about the possibility of building more primary schools in villages. The move would make it easier for rural children to go to nearby schools.

The public welcomed the notice because the ministry is acknowledging public opinions and addressing problems rural children face. But the public also is skeptical because China reduced the number of village and township primary schools from more than 510,000 in 1997 to about 230,000 in 2009.

Public policy certainly should adapt to social change. However, good public policy also should be farsighted and avoid higher costs for citizens.

The July 23 notice is not correcting the earlier reduction of rural schools, a policy that at the time increased the quality of education in township schools amid the declining population of rural schoolchildren.

The new notice will effectively solve problems remaining from the earlier policy, if authorities at various levels of government heed the public's advice.

Translated By Li Yang from Southern Metropolis Daily