URUMQI, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Since 2014, China has pumped about 12.2 billion yuan (1.8 billion U.S. dollars) into improving education infrastructure in rural areas of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The money has mainly been used to demolish dangerous houses, build school dormitories and purchase educational equipment, according to the regional education department.
The measure has helped "improve education conditions" and "shorten the education development gap between cities and rural areas," according to the department.
By the end of 2017, the region will have completed at least 70 percent of its target in dormitory construction and equipment purchases, and all schools for compulsory education in poverty-stricken counties will have proper educational conditions, according to the department.
Any organization or individual found embezzling the funds will face severe punishment.
Last month, the ministries of education and finance issued a joint notice urging local governments to complete plans and accelerate improvement of school conditions in poor areas.