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English>>China Society

Migrant workers' kids say goodbye till next year (3)

By HE DAN and SHI YINGYING  (China Daily)

08:36, September 03, 2012

“I might send him back to Anhui if I can’t guarantee a spot in a nearby primary school next year.”

Statistics from the All China Women’s Federation in 2008 showed that there are about 58 million children left behind by their parents in China’s vast rural areas, about 28 percent of all rural children.

Kang Jian, a retired professor from the Graduate School of Education in Peking University, said many left-behind children feel lonely and helpless.

“The deprivation of parents’ love is very bad for these children’s growth, and you can barely find any professionals in rural schools who can provide psychological counseling for them,” he said.

Xiong Bingqi, deputy director of 21st Century Education Research Institute, a nonprofit policy-research body, said the government has made progress in enabling migrant workers’ children to receive nine-year compulsory education in cities where their parents work.

However, the government should reform the education system to make cities more accessible for migrant workers’ children.

Students are required to take senior secondary education entrance exams and national college entrance exams where they have permanent residency permits.

“Migrant workers’ children have to return to their places of residence so they have to struggle to adapt to a new environment and stay apart from their parents again,” he said.

Education Minister Yuan Guiren told media in March that his ministry had asked local education departments to publish measures and timetables for solving the college entrance exam problem “within 10 months”.

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