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Migrant Children Have Easier Access to Schooling
Children of migrant workers in Beijing on Sunday were given the right to go to public-run schools at lower "trans-regional schooling fees."

For primary schools, the fee is down from 500 yuan (US$60) to 200 yuan (US$24) for every term. For junior high schools, the fee is down from 1,000 yuan (US$120) to 500 yuan (US$60) per term.

According to an official census in 2000, more than three million people from other areas were living in Beijing, of whom five percent were children included in China's compulsory education policy.

By the end of October 2001, there were some 150,000 migrant children in Beijing. Among them, 104,000 were studying at Beijing's public-run schools after paying "trans-regional schooling fees, less than 5,000 were studying at private schools and nearly 50,000 were studying at schools run by migrant workers.

"We hope through drastically lowering the trans-regional schooling fees, children of low-income migrant workers will also have access to public-run schools and receive a stable education, said Li Guanzheng, deputy director of Beijing Municipal Education Commission.

According to existing policies, additional payment besides tuition is needed for children to study in public-run schools outside their registered permanent residence. High "trans-regional schooling fees" used to compel migrant workers to suspend their children's schooling.

(Xinhua News Agency September 2, 2002)

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