China to improve use of education funds

BEIJING, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- China will improve the use and management of public spending on education to promote fair and quality education.

In accordance with a recent circular issued by the General Office of the State Council on improving the efficiency of education spending, priority should unswervingly be given to education and the layout for use of education funds should be optimized.

The document requires greater investments in education in the government's budgetary spending, saying that input in the education sector should maintain a level of no less than 4 percent of the country's GDP.

Moreover, more funds and support from the society, such as private schools, personal donations, and education foundations, will be encouraged in the sector, where the government subsidy system will also be improved.

The use of education funds should be well-planned to ensure the consistency between education plans at national and local levels and relevant fiscal arrangements, and more fiscal funds should be used to help areas of extreme poverty and students from needy families, according to the circular.

The document requires measures to encourage and attract more competent people into the education sector and make teaching a profession that is respected by all.

Efforts should be taken in the coming three years to ensure proper income and treatment for teachers in compulsory education, which covers primary and junior middle schools, the document says, promising equal or better pay for these teachers compared with the average level of civil servants in the same areas.

It also requires proper management of the use of education funds, which includes a comprehensive supervision system, better transparency of budgets and use of relevant funds and intensified auditing that may cover relevant officials and primary and middle school principals.