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The second most populous country in the world China has become one of the most powerful countries in Asia This country has many interesting characteristics that make it very unique Its history goes back thousands of years before Christ Whether exploring its arts government or geography something always sets it apart from other countries Some of the most remarkable features of China include its way of education the variety of its sports and its current events China has always had formal education but before the 1900s few families could not afford it Encarta 2000 Only twenty percent of the population in China consisted of literate people in 1949 Encarta 2000 Education has improved greatly since then and in 1996 approximately eighty-one percent of the population consisted of literate people Encarta 2000 In 1970 the traditional thirteen years of education changed to the current nine years of free and required education Encarta 2000 Colleges that originally had four and five-year plans reduced their plans to three-years Encarta 2000 The primary grades include first through sixth grade followed by three years of junior secondary education Wenhui Daily If a student decides to go further in their education they attend senior secondary school Wenhui Daily According to Encarta as many as two million students compete each year through entrance examinations for 500000 university openings Encarta 2000 This makes getting into a college very difficult Within the last few years concern about education reform took top priority in China The Ministry of Education implemented several new approaches to take the heavy burden off of school children China Education Daily March 10 2000 The Ministry put homework quantity regulations in effect with restrictions on how much homework the teachers could assign CED The Ministry has requested the addition of practical components to required courses in primary and secondary schools CED They also called for the reduction of the number of subjects on the senior secondary entrance examination CED Additionally
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