The central government in Beijing has allocated 20.7 billion yuan (US$3.4 billion) this year to disadvantaged schools in the countryside, Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday. The money will be used for equipment, books and reconstruction. Funds of this kind have totalled 65.7 billion yuan from 2010 to 2013, the Ministry of Finance was quoted as saying. An executive meeting of the State Council last Wednesday decided to improve basic schooling standards in compulsory education. In three to five years, school buildings must meet safety requirements, such as anti-earthquake and fire control standards. Facilities should be able to meet the basic educational and living needs, and the quality of teachers should meet the basic needs of compulsory education.
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