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China Daily Website

Policies in place to ensure equal rights to education

Updated: 2012-12-31 07:46
( China Daily/Xinhua)

A new education policy issued early this month has enabled the migrant worker Qin Lihong to make long-term plans for her family.

Qin finally decided to settle in Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, after living there for eight years because the provincial government now allows the children of migrant workers from other provinces, like her daughter, to take the college entrance exams there, even if they are not permanent residents.

"Our household registrations are not in Qingdao, so our daughter would have had to take the exam in our hometown instead of here, which meant the whole family would have had to move back for the exam," said the 32-year-old saleswoman, who works in an electronics appliance store.

Under the new policy, their daughter, currently in her fourth year of primary school, can continue her education in Qingdao without the trouble of transferring to another school.

There was a 17 percent rise in children from migrant worker families last year in Shandong schools, to up 745,100, according to official figures.

"We adopted the policy to create equality among all students in the province," said Si Jingui, an official in charge of student affairs at Shandong's local education authority.

"People in China should enjoy equal political, economic and cultural rights, regardless of whether they live in cities or in the countryside," said Xie Chuntao, a professor with the Party School of the Party's Central Committee.

On Sunday, some provincial-level administrative regions, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong province, also released plans for new rules concerning migrant children taking college entrance exams.

Authorities in all provincial-level administrative regions on the mainland were told by the central government to submit their plans to help migrant children take college entrance exams before the end of 2012.

The move is being seen as an effort by the central government to provide equal education and matriculation rights for migrant children, a group increasing rapidly as the country continues to urbanize.

Tong Xin, a professor with Peking University's sociology department, said he considers equal access to education to be a cornerstone of social equality.