BEIJING, Nov. 28(Xinhuanet)-- China has played a leading role in the world's cause of education for all, said Peter Smith, assistant director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO), here Monday.
Smith made the remarks at the the Fifth High Level Group Meeting on Education For All opened in Beijing on Monday.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told delegates that China will take five concrete steps to push forward education for all.
Wen also promised to continue China's financial support to educational sectors in African countries.
Premier Wen's remarks reflected China's commitment to education for all, said Smith, adding that Wen's promise on increasing aid to other developing countries in educational programs fully embodied the responsible side of the Chinese government.
After committing itself to"Education For All" in the 1990s, China has given priority to developing its education, especially in compulsory education, vocational education, illiteracy elimination and developing education in rural areas.
In 2004, about 94 percent of the Chinese youngsters of the right age have had access to free nine-year compulsory education, up 9 percent from 2000. China is revising its Compulsory Education Law to promote compulsory education in the country and offer every youngster equal access to education.
Smith stressed that the Chinese government has well planned its national strategy of education development, and set its current work focus on the rural economy and rural education. China has also taken three steps in boosting education, including giving compulsory education to children, keeping them in school and improving the education system both in quantity and quality.
"This move is in accordance with the policies of UNESCO, which is not only to offer people access to education and ensure a successful educational experience," he said.
Smith noted that China has the world's largest population of 1.3 billion, with most of whom living in the rural areas. China's success in popularizing compulsory education in rural areas sets a good example to those countries with underdeveloped education.
"However, it will still take a long time for China to realize education for all," Smith said.
He also spoke highly of the close partnership between UNESCO and China, adding that UNESCO will continue to introduce new ways of educational development to China and help Chinese educators better communicate with the outside. Enditem