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08:52 Jan 11 2011

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Rural Tibetan children offered free bilingual preschool education
08:51, January 11, 2011  

Children in Tibet's agricultural and pastoral areas will receive at least two years of free preschool education in both the Tibetan and Mandarin languages.

The Tibet Autonomous Regional government would extend preschool education both in the urban and rural areas in the next five years, according to a report by the Tibet education bureau presented to the annual session of the regional people's congress on Monday.

By 2015, every small town in Tibet would have a central kindergarten and every village would have at least a preschool class in its primary school. Remote regions would have seasonal or mobile kindergartens

As most families in farming and pastoral areas lived far from educational facilities, the government would build boarding kindergartens and cover all the costs of children's tuition, board and lodging.

According to the plan, by 2015, at least 60 percent of Tibetan children would attend kindergarten. Each town would have a model kindergarten.

Last year, the proportion of Tibetan children attending kindergarten was 24.5 percent, while the national rate in 2009 was above 50 percent.

The central government would fund preschool education in Tibet, including the free education to children in rural areas.

City dwellers in Tibet would still have to pay for their children's preschool education, as elsewhere in China.

However, children from impoverished urban families would be partially subsidized by the government.

Source: Xinhua

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