The General Office of the State Council has issued a circular requiring efforts to control the dropout rate of students to ensure the implementation of compulsory education.
The circular, made public on Tuesday, said such work is needed to ensure proper education for school-age children and make sure that by 2020, the percentage of students who drop out of school during the nine-year compulsory education period is reduced to less than 5 percent.
The circular said that different measures should be taken to limit the dropout rate to address the various reasons students quit school.
The quality of rural education should be improved to make schools more attractive to students, so that they will not leave school because of difficulties or weariness in study, according to the document.
Also, poverty relief work should be enhanced to prevent students from dropping out of school for financial reasons, it said, stressing preferential policies to support students from impoverished families, students with disabilities or those with disabled parents.
Moreover, the document called for improved educational investment, planning of school construction and development of boarding schools to solve the transportation problems of rural students.
It also required promotion of information technology to make more high-quality educational resources accessible to rural schools.
The circular stressed that employers are not allowed to hire children under the age of 16 and that parents or guardians of school-age children should make sure that students finish compulsory education.
It also asked schools to establish systems to help dropouts return to school.
The circular said supervision and assessment systems will be improved to scrutinize relevant government work in controlling the dropout rate, and more publicity is also necessary to raise public awareness in this regard.
China provides nine years of free and compulsory education, including six years of primary education and three years of junior middle school education.