BEIJING, June 8 (Xinhua) -- The government plans to offer the country's 83 million disabled citizens 12 years of free education in the next five years, bolster public services, and offer more benefits to improve their quality of life.
The State Council on Wednesday unveiled details of a five-year development plan for the disabled that passed last month.
The government will provide disabled students more financial subsidies to meet their special needs and gradually institute free education from primary school to high school, the plan said.
Currently, the government is making efforts to ensure all students enjoy nine years of free education -- six years of primary school and three years of junior high.
During the period of the 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015), high school and secondary professional schools should try by all means to increase their enrollment of disabled students and help rural disabled residents to receive professional education, the plan said.
The government will provide the disabled with special support and guarantee a basic standard of living by expanding the welfare scope and by including all disabled citizens in urban and rural areas in the country's elderly insurance and basic medical care insurance programs by 2015, it said.
The plan aims to help 13 million with rehabilitation services by building rehabilitation centers and health service centers in every city and township by 2015.
The government will establish a nationwide system to provide free rehabilitation treatment for disabled children under six and training for sight and hearing impaired as well as those physically disabled.
In addition, the government will establish a social care system for the disabled by providing subsidies for the care of 2 million mentally or physically disabled people.
A government-backed charity program has cured more than 8,000 disabled people suffering from cataracts in Xijiang, Jilin, Sichuan, Jiangxi, and Inner Mongolia over the past four years, According to China Disabled Persons' Federation.
The country plans to provide 1 million more work opportunities for the disabled through its urban areas and give aid to 10 million impoverished disabled people in rural areas to improve their living conditions.
Altogether 10.38 million disabled received rehabilitation services in the past five years, 58.61 million urban and rural poor got financial aid, and 1.8 million disabled were newly employed during the same period.
By the end of last year, there are 1,704 special education schools in the country.
According to the latest statistics, the disabled population exceeded 83 million at the end of last year.