NPC delegates are much more vocal this year and are airing grievances about corruption and problems suffered by farmers and students. 'There are more gripes this year over the failure of the Government to root out corruption and abuses,' said an official of the NPC Secretariat. Complaints about provincial-level graft were numerous, with a strong call for strict enforcement of anti-corruption provisions in the law. 'In some provinces, corruption and abuses in public administration are really out of control, [which has] demonstrated that existing supervisory organs are simply not effective,' Yang Zhounan of the Beijing municipal delegation said. 'Faked statistics in departmental or provincial reports are a rampant phenomenon and corrupt officials are teasing the law and supervisory system,' she said. Citing the need to set up a more independent anti-graft body, she said advanced technology should be applied in anti-graft and supervision work. Ms Yang said the Internet should be used to track embezzled funds, smuggling rings and networks of corrupt officials. She said heads of government or state-funded units should be held responsible for the administration and should be punished if abuses and irregularities were found within their jurisdiction. However, some delegates were pessimistic about how the Government would act, especially over graft. A Beijing delegate doubted if Premier Zhu Rongji's pledge in his Government Work Report to each investigate major case 'to its ultimate end', 'regardless who is involved' could be realised. 'This is all about politics. If a senior leader is involved in alleged corruption, party leaders will weigh the cost to see if they might risk hurting the image or unity of the leadership if they let the truth be exposed,' he said. Sources said officials were 'disturbed' over rumours that Beijing Party Secretary Jia Qinlin and his wife might have been involved in the Xiamen smuggling scam despite the official media's repeated denial. Li Wenhai, president of the People's University, strongly urged authorities to reform the existing curriculum which he said was unrealistic, old-fashioned and stifled students' creativity. 'Tragedies caused by education pressure happen all the time,' Professor Li said, adding that two Gansu primary school pupils froze to death on the street after they fled their home to escape their parents' punishment for failing to finish their homework. 'Our teaching materials and content are outdated while some professors are still transferring outdated and useless information to our students,' the professor said. He urged that international standards be adopted in reforming the system.