China spent 6.6 bln USD on schoolhouse renovation


BEIJING, Feb. 10 — The Chinese government has spent nearly 40 billion yuan (6.6 billion U.S. dollars) on renovating rural schoolhouses in less developed regions over the past three years, authorities said Monday.
Students’ living conditions have improved since 2010 when the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance launched a program of renovating buildings of primary and junior schools in rural areas, according to the ministries.
The program, covering less developed central and western China as well as Liaoning, Shandong and Fujian provinces in east China, is aimed at narrowing the education gap between rural and urban areas and balancing the distribution of education resources better.
Nearly 69,000 schoolhouse renovation projects started from 2010 to 2013, of which more than 51,000 have been completed.
The dormitory area for each primary school pupil reached 3.1 square meters and 4.2 square meters for each junior school student, an increase of 24 percent and 40 percent from that of 2009 respectively.
Nearly 700 counties in poor areas built school restaurants, facilitating the government’s efforts to improve students’ nutrition, according to the ministries.[db:内容2]