China's migrant children face tighter admission rules

China's migrant children face tighter admission rules

CHINA - Educators have raised concerns over tightened admission requirements at Beijing primary schools, saying the move has kept many children of migrant workers out of classrooms.

In Beijing, which has a migrant population of 8 million, children without Beijing hukou - or household registration permits - have been eligible to attend primary schools if their parents present five kinds of documents.

This year, district education authorities added more preconditions for admission.

Required are documents proving the parents or guardians work in Beijing and live there; the household registration booklets of all family members; parents' Temporary Residence Permits in Beijing; and documents proving the children cannot be cared for where their hukou are registered.

But specific districts in the capital have added their own requirements. The education commission of Changping district, for example, requires that parents' Temporary Residence Permits must be issued before Dec 31, 2013, and should be valid when they want to enroll their children in primary schools. The permits in Beijing are valid for one year.

A woman surnamed Wang, who lives in Changping district, said that after her previous permit expired in January, she applied for a new one in May. This makes her 6-year-old son ineligible for admission.

Wang said she has been living in Beijing for more than 10 years and the family bought a home there in 2003.

"I have kept a close eye on the admission policy, but I never expected such a sudden change," she said.

"If this new policy stays unchanged, I'll have to send my son back to Henan province and ask my parents, who live with us now in Beijing, to go back to take care of him," she said.

A Tongzhou district education commission asked parents to present documents last year showing they have contributed to the social security insurance in Beijing, and it further tightened the requirement this year.

Parents must prove they have continuously contributed to the insurance programme from January 2013 to March 2014.

Lin Feng from Shandong province said that to meet the requirement, her husband changed his job to a company that participates in the social security insurance system, but he only started to contribute to the system in May.

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