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Gov't to Offer Subsidies to Students from Quake Zone

China's ministries of finance and education will offer financial aid to poorer students from quake-hit areas to guarantee their schooling over the next two academic terms.

The two ministries call for officials and schools to carry out the policy immediately after finishing enrollment for such students.

A joint circular approved by the State Council on Friday said the aid was targeted at poor students from high schools (including secondary vocational schools and ordinary high schools) and universities (including general universities and higher vocational colleges) in the May 12 quake zone covering Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces and 51 counties, cities and districts in Chongqing Municipality.

Students will be exempted from tuition fees for the coming fall term and the spring term next year.

An annual subsidy of 2,000 yuan (US$292.6) per person will be provided to ordinary high schools and 900 yuan per person to secondary vocational schools that have enrolled such students.

Students in ordinary high schools will get 1,000-yuan subsidies for living expenses. The money is from the public welfare lottery fund.

For students in secondary vocational schools, the current state subsidy policy will continue to offer 1,500 yuan per person annually.

Annual subsidies of 4,200 yuan per person will be given to quake-zone universities and others enrolling a high number of students from quake-stricken regions.

The state subsidy policy will expand to cover 70 percent of quake-zone students in universities with aid of 2,000 yuan per person annually.

The May 12 earthquake has claimed nearly 70,000 lives, and left almost 18,340 missing and millions of people homeless.

(Xinhua News Agency August 30, 2008)

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