To provide for its population, China has a vast and varied school system. There are preschools, kindergartens, schools for the deaf and blind, key schools (comprising elementary school, junior and senior middle schools, secondary agricultural and vocational schools, regular secondary schools, secondary teachers’ schools, secondary technical schools, and secondary professional schools), and various institutions of higher learning (consisting of regular colleges and universities, professional colleges, and short-term vocational universities). In terms of access to education, China’s system represented a pyramid, because of the scarcity of resources allotted to higher education, student numbers decreased sharply at the higher levels. There were dramatic advances in primary education after 1949, and achievements in secondary and higher education have been greatly made.
The Central government has paid great attention to education since 1949. The Party established broad education policies, and Deng Xiaoping tied improvements in the quality of education for his modernization plan. The Party also monitored the government's implementation of its policies at the local level and within educational institutions through its Party Committees.