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China to give equal education chance for children of migrant workers

0 CommentsPrint E-mail CNTV, March 9, 2011
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China's rapid urbanization has led to the major migration of its workforce. But as migrant workers eye better employment opportunities, it often comes at the cost of their children's schooling. There are 15 million children of migrant workers nationwide, most of them school-aged.

They are the pillar of China's urbanization.

Migrant workers have changed the country's cityscape, but when working away from their hometowns, their children's schooling often suffers.

No one is more aware of this problem than NPC deputy, Hu Xiaoyan. A migrant worker herself, she knows from experience how tough it can be.

Hu Xiaoyan, NPC Deputy, said, "I had to leave both my daughters in my hometown in Sichuan during the 11 years I worked in Guangdong Province. I want my children to be educated like those in the cities. They came here last year, without paying any additional fees."

Take Guangdong for example. NPC deputy Luo Weiqi says the province is home to the country's largest number of children of migrant workers. In 2010, that number exceeded 3 million, a third of the country's total.

More than 80 percent of these children are in the cities of Dongguan, Foshan and Shenzhen, the country's southern manufacturing hub.

Luo Weiqi, Director of Guangdong Education Dept., said, "We have allocated more than 100 million yuan in financial aid to the construction of school facilities, and to supplement private schools. Furthermore, we require every county to set up at least one special school for disabled children. This year, we plan to renovate and build 40 such schools."

Despite the favorable measures, some NPC deputies question the effectiveness of existing laws. NPC deputy and Guangzhou lawyer Chen Shu argues some groups are being overlooked.

Chen Shu, NPC Deputy, said, "China's compulsory education law has ensured almost all school-aged children receive education. Vocational education has also received a major boost. In Guangdong Province, we have started a project to improve training and education. The laws and regulations are in place."

Creating fairer education opportunities also requires strengthening China's welfare system. This is to ensure no child has to drop out of school because of financial difficulties.

In his government work report, Premier Wen Jiabao pledged to increase spending for education and guarantee equal access to compulsory education for urban-dwelling children of migrant workers.

All these measures aim to ensure no child is left behind in China's education system.


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