Global Perspectives, Experiences and Implications
Edited By Robert A. DeVillar, Binbin Jiang and Jim Cummins
CHAPTER SEVEN: Compulsory Education for Migrant Children in China: Issues in Educational Quality: Henan Cheng
Internal migration and education are closely interconnected. In a country likeChina, where tremendous economic and social development has resulted in theunprecedented growth of the internal migrant population over the past 2 decades, the compulsory schooling2 of migrant children has become a major challenge facing the Chinese educational system. Migrant children are vulnerable in terms ofeducational opportunities and academic success because, as one of the most marginalized groups of children in China, they are often doubly disadvantaged—bothinstitutionally and socioeconomically The existing systems of household registration (i.e., hukou) and decentralization of educational financing have caused great difficulties for migrant children in receiving a high-quality compulsory education.
The main purpose of this essay is to examine two interacting dimensions in contemporary China: internal migration and education. More specifically, it focuses on the issues of quality of education for migrant children, an important yet understudied topic. Over the past 10 years, great public and research attention has been paid to the problems of migrant children’s lack of access to compulsory schooling. In recent years, especially since the central government revised the Compulsory Education Act in 2006, notable improvements in access to compulsory education for migrant children have taken place in China. For instance, according to the latest government report on migrant populations in five large cities—Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Taiyuan, and Chengdu—97.9% of school-aged migrant children (i.e., children aged 7–14) are currently enrolled in schools ← 147 | 148 → (NPFPCC, 2010).3 Similarly, official statistics from the...