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Education for Rural Students

The country should take positive measures to create equal educational opportunities for children of farmers-turned-workers in cities, says an article in People's Daily. An excerpt follows:

It is reported that at a recent meeting for the top 10 Young Pioneers nationwide, organized by the Ministry of Education and other relevant departments, Shu Hangya, a girl born into a farmer's family, was recommended by Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, as the city's only candidate.

Shu came to Chengdu and studied at a primary school when her parents headed to the city for work. She was successful.

But how to solve the education problems for an increasing number of "migrant" children is a concern for many cities.

When they follow their parents to big cities, these minors from rural areas often meet unexpected difficulties in their education. They are not accustomed to city life and often don't get into schools because of funding problems.

More often than not, they do not have the same development opportunity as their urban counterparts, even if they finally succeed in getting a school place.

It is encouraging that Shu Hangya was recommended as a candidate for the top 10 Young Pioneers by Chengdu, although she has no permanent residence in the city. Such a title is the highest honour for the country's 130 million Young Pioneers.

Shu's success was certainly related to her own excellent personal qualities that won appreciation from the city and the school authorities. Her success also shows the spirit of equal competition and educational fairness has been applied.

Educational fairness serves as the foundation of social fairness. Without impartiality in education, the country's efforts to narrow and eliminate the gap between the rich and poor will remain unbridgeable.

With more and more farmers flocking into the cities, the education of their children is a problem that looms ever larger.

Chengdu has set an example for its counterparts. It is hoped that all cities across the country will take more measures with regard to immigrant children so that they can enjoy equal educational opportunities along with city children.

(China Daily November 28, 2005)

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