Shanghai opens door of public schools to migrant children

The Shanghai Municipal Governmenthas decided to open the doors of more local public schools to children of migrant workers in the city.

Spokesman Jiao Yang said the city planned to increase the ratioof migrant children in public schools to over 50 percent from the current 30 percent.

By the end of last year, some 320,000 of the over 3.9 million non-natives of Shanghai were children of school age and most of them were children of migrant workers.

More than 120,000 of these school-age children studied at localpublic schools in the downtown area, and the remaining 190,000 studied at 420 schools specially for migrant children in suburban areas.

Higher than usual tuition fees blocked many of the migrant children from entering public schools. But private schools lack qualified teachers, standard teaching materials and sanitation services.

For this reason, Shanghai is drafting measures to improve education for migrant children.

Yu Lihui, head of the basic education department of the city's Education Committee, said migrant children had the right to enjoy compulsory education in Shanghai, and they should be treated equally in attending school, joining school organizations and winning academic awards.

The city stipulates that no schools were allowed to charge extra tuition fees for migrant children and those from families with financial difficulties would be exempted from tuition fees.

Jiao Yang, the spokesman, said the city would standardize and improve facilities in non-public schools specially for migrant children.



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