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Higher Education Needed to Develop W China / by Guan Weiwei, March 5, 2013 Adjust font size:

West China is suffering from a lack of academic talent -- a major obstacle to both its economic and social development.

The widening educational gap between eastern and western China has increasingly become a significant problem, which relates directly to the realization of the "China dream," said Zheng Qiang, a deputy to the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) from southwest China’s Guizhou Province.

Zheng Qiang, a deputy to the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) and president of Guizhou University.

Zheng Qiang, born in the Chongqing Municipality, is now president of Guizhou University. He said it is difficult for the western regions to attract college graduates and these regions are suffering from a lack of talent -- a major obstacle to both their economic and social development.

Statistics from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security show that out of every one million laborers in western China, there are only 92 people who have a secondary vocational school degree or higher, which accounts for less than 10 percent of the number in eastern regions.

"The government of Guizhou Province has spared no efforts to improve its basic education system. 5 percent of funds, stemming from the government, have been used to improve the 9-year compulsory education and 3-year free secondary vocational education. However, most graduates turn to seek employment in the eastern regions," Zheng said.

"More attention should be paid to the development of higher education in western regions." Zheng suggested. High-level universities can meet the cultural needs of local people and also attract talent hunting for a career, he said.

He added that the development of education in western China is part of the "China dream" which was put forward by the new CPC leadership. The fruits of reform and opening up should also be enjoyed by those children living in the nation’s western regions.

China strives to lift the general level of education in western regions to the national average by 2020, a top official of the Ministry of Education said at a press conference on Feb.22.

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