The amended Compulsory Education Law, which comes into effect in China Friday contains a new provision that ensures the right to education for children of migrant workers no matter where they live.
The provision stipulates that when both parents or legal guardians are migrant workers living and working with their children in locations other than where the family is registered, local governments where they live and work must provide for the child's education.
By the end of 2004, more than 6.4 million rural children of compulsory education age were living in cities with their parents. Another 22 million rural children remain in their rural homes, while their parents worked in cities, according to the Ministry of Education.
Children who were brought to cities by their migrant parents are often charged school fees that are much higher than those charged by schools in rural areas. Yet the likelihood that these children will move often makes it difficult for some cities to meet the demand.
Numerous private schools for migrant children have been established to migrant children in cities and they have been constantly attacked for being ill equipped, lacking infrastructure and qualified teachers to guarantee quality of education.
The Compulsory Education Law was promulgated in 1986 and the revised Compulsory Education Law aims to give children in both cities and the countryside nine years of free compulsory education.
(Xinhua News Agency September 1, 2006)