Government leaders recently approved Guangzhou’s 13th five-year plan for public service, proposing improvements in the quality and convenience of services such as education, healthcare, housing, culture and sports by 2020.
Here’s a brief look at what they set as goals:
Gradually improve the level of compulsory education and the balance of resources distributed among districts. Fully standardize the compulsory education provided by schools.
Schools should accept children who have moved into Guangzhou with their working parents, as well as students with special needs.
Increase subsidies for primary and secondary education. Gradually exempt tuition fees for secondary vocational school students. Students of low-income families should be prioritized so they are exempt from paying tuition fees set by high schools. Subsidize students of low-income families from pre-school to postgraduate education.
Healthcare services should be easily accessible so that they are within 15 minutes’ walk for urban dwellers and 30 minutes’ walk for citizens living in rural areas.
Citizens should be able to contract with family doctors to enjoy treatment for common and frequently occurring diseases, guidance on medication, reference to hospitals and other basic healthcare services.
Families earning below median income and residing in Guangzhou and qualified workers moving into the city should be able to live in public rental houses.
Low-income rural families should be able enjoy free renovation on their unsecured houses if these are the only houses the families have lived in for a long time.
Culture and sports
Cultural and sports facilities should be within 10 minutes’ walk for all urban residents and within 5 kilometers for people living in rural areas.
The city should offer free or discounted access to cultural and sports venues. Rural residents should be able to enjoy the delivery of books, newspapers and movies.
(By Lynus Tan, Louis Berney)