A member of China's top advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said that children of migrant workers in cities should have equal rights to school.
Prof. Lu Jufu from the Xiamen University told a group discussion of the current annual session of the Ninth CPPCC National Committee that there are now about 120 million floating population in the country and the number of their school-age children is about 2.4 million-3.6 million. Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen each has more than 200,000 school-age children of migrant workers.
He quoted survey data as saying that the enrollment of such children in Beijing is 90 percent in primary school and 20 percent in middle school. Some of them have to play guest students in primary or middle schools and some have to go to private schools specially catered to this category of children.
But what is more important is the state of their minds, he said. These children have different expectations from their parents. As they have long been on the fringe of the society, they would feel that they are not equally treated, and if such mental state goes on, it would generate resistance to society.
This state is caused mainly by the rapidly growing floating population, and their children do not have urban household registration, thus unable to enjoy the educational expenses of the local governments.
The professor called on the whole society to pay full attention to the problem and governments at all levels to improve policies and take effective measures to ensure that all the children of migrant workers have school to go to.
(People's Daily March 11, 2002)