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Tibet extends rural subsidy
Staff Reporter
update on Friday, March 4, 2011

The government of China's Tibet Autonomous Region plans to double the budget earmarked for the rural educational subsidy scheme this year to 1.01 billion yuan (HK$1.2 billion) to expand its coverage to include more than 500,000 school-aged children, mostly from herding families.

Children in rural Tibet from kindergartens to senior high schools will each receive 2,000 yuan to cover annual expenses on food, clothing, and school supplies, while they stay in boarding schools. Those from remote areas will receive extra subsidies.

China provides free education for school-aged children in Tibet and has been providing subsidies to herders' children since 1985, but excluded kindergarten children. Xinhua

Wen puts focus on talent

China's rise lies in talent and education, not gross domestic product (GDP), according to Premier Wen Jiabao, adding that he attaches great importance to two other figures: the proportion of education expenditure in GDP and the proportion of scientific research and development expenditure in production. "That concerns our nation's future," he says.

Wen says an important aspect for China's higher-learning education reform is to encourage students' creative spirit and independent thinking in a bid to foster more high-calibre talent. Xinhua

Study `lowers blood pressure'

The more advanced degrees a person has, the lower their blood pressure. An analysis of some 4,000 patient records from the 30-year Framingham Offspring Study in the United States found that, controlling for age, women with 17 years or more of education - a doctorate or master's - had systolic blood pressure readings 3.26mm of mercury lower than female high school drop-outs. Men who went to graduate school had systolic readings that were 2.26mm of mercury lower than their counterparts who did not finish high school, says the study. AFP

Brasilia sends in the clown

The clown who had to prove he could read and write before taking his seat in Brazil's Congress will be a member of an education and culture commission. A Party of the Republic chief says that Francisco Silva (above right) "has a lot to contribute to Brazil's culture".

Silva is known as Tiririca, which means "grumpy" in Portuguese. He won more votes than any other candidate in October elections, but a judge ordered him to take a literacy test. The judge ruled that Tiririca could read and write well enough.AP

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