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Migrant children to sit gaokao in cities

By Cheng Yingqi  (China Daily)

09:32, September 07, 2012

Pupils wait for class to start at Dequan Primary School, the largest school for children from migrant worker families in Zhengzhou, Henan province, on Monday, the first day of the new semester. Zhang Tao / for China Daily

Children who study in cities with their migrant worker parents will get fairer opportunities in the cutthroat college entrance exam, Minister of Education Yuan Guiren said on Thursday.

Yuan said the ministry is urging local education authorities to release plans by the end of this year to enable migrant workers' children to take the exam, also known as gaokao, in the city where they live.

So far, students can attend primary school and middle school in the city where their parents work and live, but they have to go back to their hometowns where they have hukou, or a permanent residence permit, to attend gaokao.

However, as Chinese colleges have different enrollment scores for students from different parts of the country, the scores in the hometowns of the migrant students are usually higher than in large cities like Beijing and Shanghai. The inequity has been a hot social topic for years.

Yuan said that amid China's fast industrialization the country has 245 million migrant workers and more than 20 million children who follow their parents to the cities. In addition, the country also has more than 10 million children left behind in rural areas.

"Such a large number of students cannot take the college entrance exam in the cities where their parents work and live. We should be aware of its significance and urgency," Yuan said at a news conference.

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