China announces new education initiative

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China announced today new details for it five-year plan for improving the lives of people with disabilities, passed by its State Council in May.

By 2015, China is looking to ensure that children with disabilities receive 12 years of free education, according to a news release from China’s official news agency, Xinhua. The country, which has an estimated 83 million people with disabilities, is in the process of making efforts to ensure all students receive nine years of free education: six years of primary school and three years of junior high school.

As part of the plan, the State Council also announced it will build rehabilitation centers and health services centers in all cities nationwide by 2015. Children under age six will also receive free rehabilitation treatment for speech and hearing disabilities.

The government has previously announced an expansion of health services for people with disabilities and new initiatives to improve employment opportunities for people.