BEIJING, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government has vowed to ensure that at least 90 percent of children with visual, hearing and intellectual disabilities receive primary and middle school education by the end of 2016, according to a plan publicized Monday.
According to a 2014-2016 plan on improving education for learners with special needs, the country will increase investment, build more infrastructure, foster more quality teachers and reform special education curricula.
The plan was jointly mapped out by seven departments, including the ministries of education, civil affairs and finance, based on inspections and surveys across the country.
"Despite obvious development in recent years, our country's special education work in general is still at a low level and suffers from regional imbalance," the Ministry of Education (MOE) said in a statement accompanying the plan.
Official figures show that compulsory education, which includes primary and middle school, only covered 71.9 percent of disabled children as of the end of 2012, compared with 99.5 percent of standard primary schools and 98 percent of middle schools.
The three-year plan stipulates that disabled children should attend the nearest possible standard schools, special education knowledge should be incorporated into exams for teachers' certificates, and that higher education institutes should not refuse admission for learners because of their disabilities.
According to the MOE, government departments will review the progress of local authorities in improving special education as well as the implementation of related policies.