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New semester starts in freezing weather; city to add 288 schools

MORE than 1.4 million Shanghai elementary and secondary school students join the morning rush in chilly weather to start their new semester today.

Students in Chongming County went to school on brand-new school buses for the first time. The county government spent 6 million yuan (US$950,600) on the new school buses to pick up about 1,000 rural students.

Meanwhile, all Shanghai schools have been ordered to adopt new exercise books that are larger in size and with wider line space to prevent myopia among youngsters.

The Shanghai Education Commission will start the construction of 288 new schools with an investment of nearly 13 billion yuan this year to cope with a surge in the number of students due to the local population boom.

The city will also add 40 new kindergartens this year to meet the growing demand for pre-school education. The commission is also considering providing toys and other equipment to day-care centers to encourage them absorb more preschoolers.

Prestigious downtown schools will team up with new schools in suburban areas to help them improve teaching standards, the commission said.


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