Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao gives a speech at the national teacher's conference held in Beijing, China, Sept. 7, 2012. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)
BEIJING, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have called for efforts to improve the quality of public education and make it more equitable for the public.
In a congratulatory letter sent to a national teacher's conference held on Friday, Hu said China has fully attained the goals of making nine-year compulsory education universally available and eliminating illiteracy among young and middle-aged adults.
Hu said he hopes government departments and regions will prioritize educational development and speed up the construction of a basic public educational service system that cover both urban and rural areas, as well as guarantee equal access to the system.
The president also expressed greetings to the country's 14 million teachers ahead of the Teachers' Day, which falls on Sept. 10.
He encouraged the teachers to contribute more to the country's education development.
While addressing Friday's conference, Premier Wen Jiabao said China is facing the big challenge of how to offer better schooling for its children.
"The focus should be on improving quality and promoting balanced development," he said, adding that efforts should be made to "run each school well and offer a good education for every child."
Wen called for greater efforts to promote balanced development in compulsory education by standardizing school construction, as well as bridging gaps in teacher qualifications and facilities in different schools.
"The most pressing task at present is to free the students, teachers and schools from the influence of exams, including the annual college entrance exam," he said.
Removing exam pressure will allow students, teachers and schools to perform according to the requirements of competence-oriented education and thus achieve the goal of improving education quality, he said.
Wen urged efforts to deepen educational reform by encouraging experienced candidates to run the country's schools and adopting new management models in different types of schools.
Wen applauded the achievements made in public education over the last 25 years, citing the establishment of nine-year compulsory education in all counties by 2011 and a 1.08-percent illiteracy rate among young and middle-aged people.
Wen encouraged teachers to improve their qualifications and ethics, as well as asked relevant departments to provide more benefits for teachers in rural schools.
Wen visited a photo exhibition marking the country's education achievements before the conference.
A total of 300 organizations, 500 individuals and 80 regions were honored at Friday's conference for their excellent performance in promoting education development.