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Marginalization of migrant children in China

Social Development Issues in China

Joseph Kleinhenz

on 20 September 2012

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Transcript of Marginalization of migrant children in China

The marginalization of migrant children in China Cultural Exclusion Financial Exclusion Institutional Exclusion Xiamen Beijing ~founded without government authorization
~ facilities:poor and inadequate; teachers: poorly qualified and high turnover; run essentially for profit rather than to provide basic education services
~100 private migrant schools in 1999, 150 in 2000, and over 300 in 2001
~a focal point for investment
~rich historical and cultural heritage
~migrant population makes up 1/3 of the total population
~3million migrants in 1997
~7% of the total migrant population → <15 years old ~the municipal government: very cautious attitude towards educational provision for migrants
~2002 promulgated own education policy
~47% of migrant children are now in public schools
~are labeled jiedu students, pay extra fees
~ >50% : have to go to unregulated informal private schools/migrant schools Education in Beijing Migrant Schools in Beijing Background - southern Province of Fujian
- a special economic zone
- attracted increasing numbers of rural migrants
- Between 1984 and 1997, the migrant population grew from 39,000 to 380,000
- In 2000, there were about 30,000 migrant children
- public schools have limited capacity
- grants legal status for those private migrant schools that have met the basic conditions issued by the local government Xiamen’s Temporary Methods of Education for Migrant Children Positive aspects - may displace public schooling for the poorest and represent a preference rather than a forced
choice Negative aspects - None of the teachers in Xinghua school in Beijing had any teacher training Teachers are poorly paid Teacher salaries in migrant schools are not regulated Teacher motivation is low Teaching force is very unstable - Teachers in migrant schools lack the social rights of public school teachers - Beijing local government is unwilling to take responsibility for these schools --> over 60% of
the migrant children are studying in unregulated migrant schools where both hardware
conditions and the teaching quality are very poor - Difficult for the migrant children they enrolled to use education as a means to break
through barriers to attaining urban citizenship Positive aspects - under the supervision of the local school inspection system
- teachers can have trainings as public school teachers Negative aspects - nearly 40% of the teachers at legally recognized private migrant schools in Xiamen were not educated for teaching profession
- performance was inconsistent with the qualifications they claimed
- Migrant children are still isolated from those local students Background Hukou system Education system - The Hukou system was first set up in cities in 1951 and extended to rural area in 1955.
 - Under the Hukou system, people either have urban or rural hukous, which are necessary to receive social services/benefits in their own locality. - It limits migrant children’s access to education as children with rural hukous are not entitled to attend urban public school for low fees.
- In the theory, the Compulsory Education Law entitles all children to basic free education. In 1998, Central Government issued policy guidelines saying that urban public schools should take migrant children. Reasons for rural to urban migration Economic Reform and Urbanization Attractive incomes Better quality of life Its pleasant environment and good living conditions have attracted increasing numbers of rural migrants Higher opportunity to access to better education The new leadership in the post-Mao era adopted an open-door policy to foreign investment and market-oriented economic reforms generated large demands for labor in and around cities more freedom than planned economy, allowing employment of those without
local citizenship. Much higher pay outside agriculture mobile labor force of over 100 million workers who follow work opportunities to areas where there are labor shortages Result The current situation Why are public schools reluctant to admit migrant students? - Growing number of school-age migrant children
put a strain on already full schools
- More children puts more pressure on city infrastructure,
energy supply, public transport
- Because migrant children cannot attend university,
they will not add to the prestige of the public school A comparison
of two Chinese
cities: Beijing and
Xiamen - Hukou registration is difficult to obtain for migrant families
(many documents must be presented)
- Local education authorities are only required to care for
the education of children within the community, historically defined
by local birth or language As jiedu, migrant students in Beijing must pay
jiedu fei - 480 yuan per term
ze xiao fei- 1000 per term
zan zhu fei - negotiated between parents
and school (highest reported was 20,000 - 30,000 yuan) 12 year old migrant boy on being asked
whether he'd like to attend public school:

"Yes. But [we have] no money, prices are too high. I studied there before, [I paid] about a
thousand yuan one year. Now it went up to 2000 or 3000 yuan … We pay more than them
[local children]. We have to pay jiedu fee as wandi ren [people from outside Beijing]. We
paid 480 yuan jiedu fee in advance and later it went up to 600 yuan. Beijing children don’t
have to pay this fee." - Migrant children must take more difficult entrance exams
Xiamen primary school principal: 100 applied, only 20 admitted - Migrant children are labeled as jiedu
and often ostracized
- Cultural and language differences create
barriers (fee for study in a school) (fee for selection of school) (fee for supporting the school) Discussion Should migrant children be
integrated into public schools, or should the government focus on improving migrant schools?
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