More efforts for equal education

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Besides bridging the quality of education among different areas, it is also important to provide equitable opportunities for education to migrant workers' children to ensure fairness, political advisers suggested.

According to the Government Work Report, the problem of providing compulsory education to children of rural migrant workers in cities was basically solved, and 12.6 million children with rural residence status are now receiving compulsory education in cities.

Yin Jie, a CPPCC National Committee member and deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Education Committee, said there is progress, yet it is still far from enough to ensure equitable education opportunities for these children.

"Take the current national college entrance exam for instance. The current exam system is unfair as the admission requirements for the exam vary a lot across the nation. It also discriminates against migrant workers' children," said Yin.

Wang Rucheng, a CPPCC National Committee member and director of the School of Earth Sciences and Engineering at Nanjing University, said providing equal education opportunities for migrant workers' children is of vital importance for society to develop in a harmonious and sustainable way.

"Besides increasing education spending, some changes in the hukou system are also necessary to address this issue," said Wang.

China's hukou system, or household registration system, poses restrictions for children attending schools outside their home provinces.

In 2003, the restriction was amended to allow migrant workers' children to receive nine-year compulsory education in cities where their parents work.

However, under the restriction, migrant children still had to return to their home provinces for further education or risk dropping out of school if they chose to stay with their parents.

Zhong Binglin, a CPPCC National Committee member and president of Chinese Society of Education, pointed out that it is impossible for the restrictions on migrant workers' children to be removed in the short term, as there is conflict between increasing migrant populations and shortage of education resources.

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