China's Ministry of Education on Tuesday said it would step up supervision over the country's primary and middle schools in a bid to enhance education quality and fairness.
The move is aimed at tackling the imbalance of educational resources at the local level and reducing students' workloads, said the ministry in a document posted on its website.
Despite continuous efforts to provide quality education to all, a remarkable educational imbalance has emerged among schools and between urban and rural areas, often forcing parents to pay extra, sometimes illicit, fees to get their children into better schools.
Meanwhile, fierce competition in the national college entrance exam also drove teachers to assign an excessive amount of homework to students. Approximately 9.12 million students sat the exam to vie for access to the country's universities and colleges last year.
To address such concerns, an evaluation system will be established for local governments in order to direct them to prioritize the education sector and improve the quality of public education, according to the ministry.
Meanwhile, authorities will also implement an accountability system to supervise administration and will invite the private sector to join in the assessment of schools' education quality, it said.