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2009 China: Special Report on Compulsory Education for Children Migrating with Parents and Left-behind Children



Executive summary

Background:

The population movement triggered by industrialization and urbanization has constituted a biggest social change taken place in China since the reform and opening up, and will remain the major content and influencing factor of the social change in China in a fairly long time to come.

With the population movement and migration, China is witnessing a growing number of migrant workers in cities in China and their children migrating with them as well as left-behind children1 in rural areas. In 2008, 30.25 million children migrating with parents and left-behind children received compulsory education across the country, accounting for 19% of the total amount of students. The education for children migrating with parents and left-behind children concerns the vital interests of hundreds of millions of migrant workers, relates to the success of urbanization and the improvement of the overall quality of the entire people of the nation. A successful solution to the problem plays a vital role in promoting social harmony and stability. It’s an important step in realizing education equity and significant embodiment of implementing the idea of the human-oriented, sustainable development theory.

This report, based on policy changes of the Chinese government, analyzes the basic conditions of the compulsory education for children migrating with parents and left-behind children in terms of scale, distribution, sources and education status, etc., and comes up with corresponding policy proposals.

1 Since 2007, Ministry of Education has made statistical analysis of children migrating with and left behind by migrant workers in rural areas in compulsory education schools approved and filed by education administrations. Children migrating with migrant workers refer to those who are registered in rural areas and migrate with parents to provinces (districts, municipalities) outside their hometowns or other counties (districts) within their hometown provinces to receive compulsory education; rural left-behind children refer to those whose parents leave home to work for more than 3 months and entrust the children to the domiciliary authority, who receive the compulsory education under the custodianship of one parent or other relatives, same below.

Purpose/ Objectives:

a. To establish a resident population-based compulsory education system and support the rights of children migrating with parents to compulsory education according to law
b. To reinforce financial inputs and transfer payment, providing powerful support for the implementation of “two orientations” policy
c. To strength innovation of education management system to provide more adequate and varied educational opportunities for children migrating with parents
d. To establish a social support system with the participation of schools, families and the public and explore a long-acting working mechanism for the education for left-behind children
e. To establish dynamic information monitoring system to provide a reliable basis for children migrating with parents and left-behind children to receive education



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