The Poverty Alleviation through Education Forum 2019 was held on the afternoon of October 14 in Beijing to coincide with the sixth national Poverty Relief Day. Vice education minister Sun Yao attended the forum and delivered a speech.
Sun noted that the main purpose of the forum was to deepen understanding about and study President Xi’s major remarks on poverty alleviation, and follow up on decisions made by the Party Central Committee on further lifting people out of poverty through education. He recalled education efforts aimed at reducing poverty, as well as achievements, made by the MOE in the past year, including ensuring universal coverage of compulsory education, and targeted assistance in western Yunnan.
Underlining that the poverty reduction campaign had entered a critical stage, Sun urged the whole of the MOE system to prioritize and provide unconditional educational support to the effort. He laid out five major tasks: first, to secure provision of universal access to compulsory education; second, to improve the level of educational service in economically disadvantaged areas, including expanding pre-school education and ensuring universal access to senior high schools in rural areas, facilitating twining of vocational schools in western and coastal provinces, and sharing quality education resources through the use of modern ICT. Third, to ensure government authorities took a leading role in channeling financial resources to poor regions, especially to support children from poor backgrounds. Fourth, to draw lessons from past experience and upscale best practices. Fifth, educational assistance was to be an ongoing effort to prevent people falling back into poverty. Sun pledged that responsibilities, policies, poverty alleviation and monitoring efforts would not lose momentum, even after regions have graduated from being poor to achieving a more prosperous status.
The forum was attended by representatives of departments and divisions under the MOE, educational departments at sub-national level, 75 universities directly under the MOE and local universities, as well as educational experts and scholars.