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September 08, 2003

Ministry Considers More Liberalization

Further liberalization measures of the school system are under consideration at the Education, Science and Technology Ministry. The latest measures would allow private organizations, such as joint-stock companies, nonprofit organizations and educational corporations, to operate currently public kindergartens and high schools in specified reform zones. The plans are part of the latest round of proposals for such zones submitted by local governments, and a decision is expected by the end of the year. Questions remaining about the changes include maintaining the schools' public spirit, minimizing disruption and maintaining safety standards at the schools. The ministry remains particularly cautious about the handover of elementary and junior high schools.

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