BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- China plans to improve schools in poor rural areas over the next three to five years, said the Education Ministry here on Tuesday.
The program will mainly cover schools in west and central China, with the addition of a few poor areas in the east, said a ministry statement.
The government will invest in school facilities including classrooms, dormitories, playgrounds, canteens, toilets and drinking water supply, as well as providing them with adequate teaching equipment, the statement said.
All current village schools will be made operational and the class size of township and county schools will be reduced to a maximum 45 students in primary and 50 students in middle school classes.
The ministry wants keep the dropout rate in primary schools under 0.6 percent and at middle schools under 1.8 percent, the statement said.
County governments in poor areas are asked to draw up detailed plans for each school that needs improvement. All plans will be submitted to the central government for review.
The program funds will come from the central budget, in addition to provincial and county governments.
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