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Beijing to Aid Migrant Schools
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Beijing municipal government will earmark 80 million yuan (US$10 million) to improve schools for migrant children, the municipal education committee said.

Beijing has 49 private schools for migrant children approved by the local education authorities, as well as more than 100 schools established without official approval.

Most of the unapproved schools had problems, such as safety risks, poor hygiene and sanitation, unqualified teachers and low educational standards, said a source with the education committee.

A survey of unapproved schools over the past two months had highlighted problems, said the source.

It was also carried out to ensure every migrant child was receiving a proper education.

Schools that failed to meet student safety standards, or where staff were unqualified or the building unauthorized would be shut down, the local education committee said.

Students from the closed schools would be transferred to public schools or approved schools for migrant children.

Migrant families could choose to attend a public school or a migrant school, and public schools were banned from imposing any extra charges, according to an official with the education committee.

In July, the Haidian Education Commission closed 37 private schools for migrant children in the district and assigned the 15,000 affected students to nearby public schools.

"There are more than 50,000 migrant children in our district, and one-third of them are studying in private schools," said Zhu Jianxin, section chief with the Haidian Education Commission.

Beijing has a total of 370,000 migrant children.

(Shanghai Daily September 8, 2006)

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