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Senior Official Stresses Continued Assistance for Education in Tibet

The Chinese government will continue to assist education in Tibet and help train more people to guarantee the prosperity and stability of the region, top political advisor Jia Qinglin said Friday.

The government would stick to the policy of boosting the fast, coordinated and healthy development of education in the Tibet Autonomous Region, with an emphasis on both self-development and assistance from the central government, Jia told a national conference.

In the past 20 years, 28 schools in 20 provinces and municipalities opened classes for Tibetans, more than 90 higher education institutions and 53 key high schools received short-term Tibetan students, educating and training a total of 14,000 people. 
Meanwhile, the funds collected from China's provinces and municipalities to assist Tibetan education reached 576 million yuan (US$74 million), and more than 2,000 teachers and officials were sent to work in Tibet, Jia said.

The number of on-campus students in Tibet had reached 530,000, almost triple the number in 1985. The illiteracy rate among adults had dropped below 10 percent from 69.34 percent in 1990.

"Practice has proven that education assistance tallies with the reality of Tibet and reflects the fundamental interests of the people of all ethnic groups in the region, which has left and will continue to leave a major, lasting influence on regional development and stability," said Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

"Education should serve ethnic unity and national unification, and promote the development of Tibet," he said.

Other provinces and cities should allocate special funds to support needy Tibetan students in completing high school courses, and set training tasks for teachers and management staff dispatched to Tibet.

The Ministry of Education should help improve the working conditions of Tibetan educational institutions, he added.

(Xinhua News Agency January 29, 2007)

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