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Education for Population Control: Migrant Children’s Education Under New Policies in Beijing

  • Jiaxin Chen
  • Dan Wang
  • Yisu ZhouEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

China’s economic success in the past decades has been partly fueled by the unprecedentedly large-scale internal migration of the rural labor force to urban areas. The rapid development in urban areas is paralleled by a large population living in poverty-stricken rural areas. The low return to agricultural production drives rural men and women to leave their villages and seek jobs in cities. In the meantime, the booming urban economy, especially in Beijing, Shanghai, and other coastal cities, has been in dire need of cheap labor for their manufacturing, construction, and many other low-end service industries. Both forces “push and pull” millions of rural peasants to work in cities, making this unprecedented phenomenon of internal migration in China.

Keywords

Public School Migrant Child School Choice Migrant Family Migrant Parent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

China’s economic success in the past decades has been partly fueled by the unprecedentedly large-scale internal migration of the rural labor force to urban areas. The rapid development in urban areas is paralleled by a large population living in poverty-stricken rural areas. The low return to agricultural production drives rural men and women to leave their villages and seek jobs in cities. In the meantime, the booming urban economy, especially in Beijing, Shanghai, and other coastal cities, has been in dire need of cheap labor for their manufacturing, construction, and many other low-end service industries. Both forces “push and pull” millions of rural peasants to work in cities, making this unprecedented phenomenon of internal migration in China.

Official statistics show that the population of rural migrant workers (waichu nonmin gong)1 has grown steadily in recent years, from 114 million in 2003 to 132 million in 2006, 153 million in 2010, 163 million in 2012, and 168 million in 2014 (National Bureau of Statistics of China 2014). Approximately half (47 %) of the total rural labor migration takes place across provinces, mainly from the less-developed central and western regions to the economically more advanced regions (ibid.). Notably, a substantial number of rural migrant workers, 35.8 million in 2014 (ibid.), have settled permanently in cities together with their families, despite the label of “migrant” or “floating” workers.

The increasing rural migrants have taken up a wide range of low-end jobs in cities. At the national level, 53.6 % of rural migrant workers work in manufacturing and construction industries, while 42.9 % in tertiary industries, such as wholesale and retail services (11.4 %), neighborhood services, repair services and other services (10.2 %), transportation, storage and post services (6.5 %), and hoteling and catering services (6.0 %) in 2014 (ibid). In Beijing, the city under study in this chapter, the population of rural migrant workers grows from 1.51 million in 1999 to 2.87 million in 2004, 3.7 million in 2009, and 4 million in 2010 (Lai 2011; Lv and Wang 2010; Wu 2006). In 2004, around 84 % of rural migrant workers, representing at least 2.4 million people, worked in construction, manufacturing, and service industries (Wu 2006). It is estimated that, in 2010, the total migrant population, among which 78.2 % (3.13 million) holding rural household registration, provides over 65 % of the entire labor force in Beijing’s construction and service industries (Ga and Hong 2013). Apparently, rural migrant workers have become an indispensable force for the nation’s economic development (Wu 2006).

Despite their remarkable contribution to the urban economy, rural migrants are denied access to many social benefits because they do not possess local household registration (hukou) in the receiving cities. This means that children of the rural migrant workers are not entitled to public education in the host cities.

The number of rural migrant children in urban areas has grown continuously over the past decades. The latest statistics from the census of 2010 estimate the total population of migrant children at 35.8 million nationwide, a 41 % increase from the year 2005 (All-China Women’s Federation 2013). More than 80 % (28.8 million) of these migrant children hold rural household registration, and 41 % (14.7 million) have reached compulsory school age (6–14 years) (ibid.). By this estimation, the number of school-aged migrant children from rural origins may have been 11.8 million in 2010. The migrant children are highly concentrated in a few eastern, developed provinces such as Guangdong (4.34 million children), Zhejiang, and Jiangsu (more than 2 million each). Megacities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen have a particularly high density of migrant children. Four out of ten children in Shanghai and three out of ten children in Beijing are migrant children (ibid). As educational funds and resources are managed and allocated by local governments according to the number of registered hukou holders within each local jurisdiction, the local governments lack incentives to accommodate migrant children in their public school systems. As a result, a significant proportion of migrant children, mostly from the countryside, are left with the choice of either entering an unlicensed migrant school of extremely poor quality or attending no school at all. This phenomenon is especially conspicuous in large cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. Even after repeated policy mandates from the central government urging local governments to grant equal treatment to migrant children in the provision of education, more than 40 % of migrant children in Shanghai and 34 % in Beijing continued to stagnate in under qualified, dilapidated migrant schools in 2008 (Wang 2010b).

This chapter documents the latest trends in Beijing regarding rural migrant children’s access to education. Our observations show that the educational opportunities of migrant children in Beijing have been further reduced by new policies launched in the past few years. Not only has their access to public schools been further narrowed; even worse, attending unlicensed migrant schools is no longer a sustainable option. Ultimately, many migrants will have to leave Beijing for the sake of their children’s education. We argue, therefore, that the Beijing municipal government is exploiting educational policies as a means of population control.

Education for Migrant Children in Beijing

As Beijing is the capital city of China, migrants have always been visible in Beijing. But education for migrant children did not enter the public policy discourse until the early 2000s (Pong 2015). Beijing’s stand toward migrant children was ambivalent in the early years and has remained defensive in recent times. The fact that there was no official policy guidelines created excuses for local education authorities to refuse to provide any public education to migrant children. As a result, though the total number of migrant children quadrupled in the early 2000s, most migrant children attended privately run, unlicensed migrant schools. The number of migrant children attending public schools actually decreased consistently.

The Beijing municipal government addressed the issue for the first time in 2001. In that year, the State Council issued a “Decision over Basic Education Reforms and Developments,” which mandated that host governments and their public schools take primary responsibility for providing compulsory education for migrant children (State Council 2001). This document laid out the general guidelines for resolving the issue of migrant education. Beijing responded to the Decision by allowing migrant children to study in its public schools as temporary students (jiedu), but only under stringent conditions (Beijing Municipal Government 2001).

To enroll in a public school as a temporary student, migrant children in Beijing are required to present a considerable amount of paperwork, notoriously known as the “five certificates” (wu zheng):
  • temporary residence permit

  • household registration (hukou) booklet

  • proof of parental employment

  • proof of residency

  • certificate verifying a lack of guardianship in the place of origin.

It is not easy in the first place to collect all these five certificates, and this difficulty deters many migrant families from sending their children to public schools. Based on a recent survey of 2425 rural migrant parents in Beijing, it is estimated that a mere 2.76 % of such families are able to procure all five permits (Wang 2010b, p. 83).

On top of these obstacles, in 2013 and 2014, several Beijing districts started to demand additional documents. For instance, Chao Yang District requires proof of social security payments by the parents (Education Commission of Chao Yang District 2014). Since China has not established a nationwide social security system and migrant families rarely make social security payments in their host cities because of their mobility, this additional requirement can effectively keep more migrant children away from public schools.

New Population and Education Policies

In 2013 and 2014, migrant children’s education in Beijing was steered in a new direction because of three national policies: the new unified hukou system, the new national student electronic ID, and the ban on cross-district school enrollment.

The Unified Hukou System

Until 2014, China had a two-track (rural and urban) residential registration (hukou) system. Individuals’ entitlement to public services, including education, was based on the type of hukou. The variety and quality of public services were better for urban hukou holders than for those holding rural hukou. However, in 2014 the Chinese central government abolished the separate hukou tracks and launched a unified hukou system (State Council 2014). The aim of this move was to accommodate large-scale domestic migration amid the rapid urbanization process. The State Council ordinance allows conditional hukou relocation from one place to another, making it possible for migrants to receive public services regardless of their original place of residence. It eliminates the rural and urban categorizations of hukou, aiming to provide universal public services to all citizens no matter where they live.

Under the unified hukou system, megacities such as Beijing, with their high concentration of resources, can be expected to attract more migrants, thus intensifying the problem of high population density in these cities. Therefore, the ordinance also stipulates that hukou relocation should take the host city’s size into account. In the largest cities with populations greater than five million, such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, the population level needs to be “tightly controlled” (State Council 2014). In other words, although the new hukou ordinance potentially opens up urban public services to the migrant population in general, in cities such as Beijing, the migrant population may face population control measures that are even harsher than those used previously.

The National Student Electronic ID

The unified hukou system has been accompanied by a newly established national student registration system. Before this reform, each student received an ID issued by the provincial government of the student’s hukou of origin. This ID was associated with school promotion, matriculation information, financial aid, and other public education resources within the province. The student ID systems in different provinces do not communicate with one another. Therefore, when a child migrates to another province and enrolls in a public school there, she will receive another registration ID. Given high mobility, a child may hold several student IDs from various provinces.

The Ministry of Education initiated a singular student registration system in 2013 (Ministry of Education 2013). Its purpose is to ensure that each student receives only one unique ID, which accompanies the student to any school that he or she attends, regardless of location. This unique student ID will thus follow the student through the entire educational process from elementary school to tertiary education. The national student registration system will be maintained electronically and through online, permitting student information to be shared among local governments nationwide. However, for migrant children, it remains unclear which government, that of the place of origin or of the host city, should issue this singular student ID. The central government policy does not specify an answer to this question.

The Ban on Cross-District School Enrollment

In 2014, the Ministry of Education (MoE) released a new policy aiming to equalize educational opportunities among schools. This policy, titled “Notice on Test-Free Admission to Compulsory Education in the Major Large Cities,” prohibits public schools, particularly elite schools, from using test-based screening and charging high school choice fees to recruit students from outside the school districts they serve. The policy targets the widespread phenomenon of school choice in large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, a practice that seems to allow well-off families to enjoy higher quality educational services through payment of school choice fees. According to the MoE timetable, by 2015 school districts must draw clear boundaries for their service areas in large cities, Beijing included. All school-aged children, including migrant children, must enroll in the schools designated to serve their residence districts. The goal is to achieve a 100 % within-district enrollment rate at the elementary level and a 90 % rate in middle schools. Little room is left for cross-district enrollment.

Drawing on fieldwork in two elementary schools (one public school and one unlicensed migrant school), the following sections demonstrate how these new population and educational policies diminish migrant students’ educational opportunities in Beijing.

Methods

This research is based on observations, interviews, and school documents collected between June 2014 and January 2015 in two elementary schools, one public school, and one unlicensed migrant school, located in the same district in Beijing.

The public school is located on the outskirts of Beijing, more than 20 km away from the city center. From downtown Beijing, it takes nearly an hour by subway to get to the school. More than 80 % of students at this school are rural migrant students. Their parents hold a wide range of jobs, including as factory workers, street peddlers, office clerks, salesmen, waiters and waitresses, drivers, teachers, and engineers.

The unlicensed migrant school is located more than 30 km away from the city center, even farther than the public school. The nearest subway station is more than 10 km from the school. Reaching the school from the city center takes about one and a half hours by subway followed by another half hour by bus. Currently, the school has 484 students in 12 classes from first to sixth grade. The surrounding community has a high concentration of rural migrant workers, many of whom have lived and worked in Beijing for a long time. Most of the parents of the students at this school are rural migrant workers who work in construction, menial services, or manufacturing and have meager monthly incomes. Without financial support from the government, the migrant school charges each student 1000 Chinese Yuan per semester to cover its operational costs.

We carried out semistructured, face-to-face interviews with school principals, middle managers, teachers, and students from both schools. We also conducted telephone interviews with parents about their children’s access to public schools in Beijing. In addition, we observed school activities such as the school opening ceremony as well as daily interactions among the teaching staff and between teachers and students to triangulate the interview data. Finally, we collected school documents such as school policies, regulations, and student registration records from both schools to verify policy information and the enrollment situation.

Findings

Our data reveal that in 2014 it became more difficult than before for rural migrant children to access public schools. This is demonstrated by the enrollment statistics in the public primary school in our study. As Table 11.1 shows, 82 migrant children were newly enrolled in the school for the school year 2014–15, accounting for approximately half of the total grade 1 enrollment for that year. This figure is far lower than the figures for past years, as indicated by the enrollment breakdown of higher grades, in which close to 90 % of the admitted students are migrant children. There seems to have been a significant reduction in the enrollment of migrant students in public schools. There are two reasons for the change in 2014–2015. First, many local Beijing students who might previously have attended better schools in downtown areas now had to come back to this school because of the ban on cross-district school choice, as evidenced by the larger grade 1 intake of local students for 2014–2015 compared with previous years. Second, the government raised the bar for migrant children to access the public school system, which closed the door to public schools for many rural migrant children.
Table 11.1

Student enrollment by grade and student origin in the public primary school in 2014–2015

Grade

Local students

Migrant students

Total

Grade 1

83

82

165

Grade 2

27

207

234

Grade 3

22

151

173

Grade 4

15

122

137

Grade 5

7

147

154

Grade 6

9

121

130

Figures of student enrollment from second grade to sixth grade are based on school statistical reports issued in the second semester in 2013–2014, and may change slightly in 2014–2015 due to the transfer of students

The Backflow of Local Beijing Students

Understandably, public schools in Beijing give admission priority to local students since they are financed by local government funds and obliged to satisfy the educational needs of local residents first. Each year, the places that remained in the public school after the recruitment of local children would be opened to migrant children. The principal in the public school under study told us that before the ban on school choice, most local children in the community chose to attend schools in downtown Beijing, where school quality and resources were usually better than in the school on the outskirts of the city. As a result, this school had a hard time filling up its seats with enough students. The large number of rural migrant children in the neighborhood helped the school solve the problem of decreasing enrollment.

Indeed, the practice of school choice is common among Beijing parents. It is widely acknowledged in the media that families in peripheral regions of Beijing prefer key-point schools in downtown districts over their neighborhood schools, first, because they believe the latter to offer higher quality education, and second, because they want to avoid the increasing numbers of migrant children in peripheral public schools (China Youth Net 2010). In order to send their children to downtown schools, these parents have to rent or purchase an apartment in a downtown area, which represents a significant expense (Beijing Evening Newspaper 2008). Because of the inward flow of local students toward central Beijing areas, peripherally located public schools, like the one in our study, have a higher incentive to take in rural migrant children.

However, the ban on cross-district school choice in 2014 forced local students back to their own district schools. In the public school, we observed the backflow of local students occupied half of the school’s seats in grade 1. In effect, the ban on school choice decreased the number of seats available to rural migrant students almost by half. On the other hand, it can be inferred that the public schools in downtown Beijing experienced a sudden student loss and thus had more vacancies. Ideally, the rural migrant children could consider applying to the downtown schools, as suggested by a vice principal we interviewed in the public school. In reality, however, this is not a viable option for most rural migrant families. The primary deterrent is the cost of housing: rents in downtown Beijing are too expensive for rural migrant workers to afford. In 2013, the average monthly income of rural migrant workers was 2609 Yuan (National Bureau of Statistics of China 2014). Fifty percent of migrant workers in the construction industry in Beijing earn a monthly salary between 1500 and 2500 Yuan (Che 2010). In contrast, the rent for a small single room in downtown Beijing is no less than 1500 Yuan per month, not to mention the price of an apartment for a whole family. Their meager incomes thus confine rural migrant families to the more remote regions and schools in Beijing.

With the backflow of local students, one would expect that the public school in our study would have recruited enough first graders to fill up its capacity. But to our surprise, the school had unfilled vacancies. In the past years, when there were more school places available to migrant children, the supply of seats was not sufficient to admit all qualified migrant children. Yet in 2014, the vice principal admitted: “We have a few more seats available, but there are not enough migrant children who are qualified to enroll.” In other words, migrant children’s shrinking access to public schools was only partially caused by the backflow of local students. The increased requirements for qualification seem to have played another important role.

Raised Bars to Enter Public Schools

As mentioned earlier, for a migrant student to enroll in a public school, the key is to obtain all of the “five certificates.” With all five certificates, the student can obtain a “temporary study permit” (jiedu zheng) issued by the district educational bureau in Beijing. Without this permit, a public school is not allowed to admit the migrant child.

It was already very difficult for rural migrant workers to collect all five certificates, because that obtaining each certificate required extensive documentation. For instance, to apply for a temporary resident permit, the migrant worker needs to present to the local police station his or her ID card, a rental contract, the landlord’s ID card, and the landlord’s ownership certificate for the property in question. The rental contract, in particular, could be a big problem. Since many migrant workers rent shoddy apartments on flexible terms, and since many landlords want to avoid taxes there is often no formal contract of the rental arrangement. Even when the application for a temporary residence permit is successful, the permit is valid for one-year only and thus needs to be renewed every year. Another example is the requirement regarding proof of parental employment. The migrant worker is required to present a legal employment contract and a photocopy of the business license of the company he or she is working for. However, an investigation of 615 rural migrant workers in 31 provinces showed that 73.28 % of the workers were employed without a legal contract (Yu 2014). The lack of legal protection for rural migrant workers thus further jeopardizes the educational opportunities of rural migrant children.

The situation worsened in 2014 because the district education bureaus in Beijing added proof of social security payments to the already onerous list of requirements. For instance, in Chao Yang District, proof of social security payments made in Beijing by both parents for a minimum of three consecutive months is required. Chao Yang District is not the only one to have added new requirements on top of the “five certificates.” In Tong Zhou District, migrant parents need to prove that they have paid for social security in the district continuously between January 2013 and March 2014 (Southern Weekend News 2014). This is a significant hurdle since it is rare that migrant workers pay for social security in their host cities, because in China social security is tied to local governments and is not transferable between regions.

In addition, migrant parents were given a ridiculously short time to obtain this newly required document. According to the official schedule, migrant parents wanting to enroll their children in public schools had to obtain a temporary study permit and sign up in the national electronic student information system to apply for a student ID. The online system was open only for one month between May 1 and 31, 2014. However, the rural migrant parents we interviewed reported that the official announcement about required proof of social security payments was publicized on the school district’s official website only in late-April 2014. Before that, the parents were not informed of the sudden change in the requirements and were left with little time to prepare for it.

Moreover, the process of verifying the documents became much more rigorous in 2014. For example, the certificate verifying a child’s lack of guardianship in his or her hukou of origin has to bear official stamps from both the township government and the village committee of the migrant student’s hometown. A migrant parent we interviewed described his experience with the district educational bureau:

The requirements [for documents] are extremely strict this year…. We collected both stamps, from the township and the village. The stamp from the village committee is not very clear, but the one from the township government is very clear. We were asked to go back to get the village stamp again. It costs a lot of time and money for us to take a trip back and forth to our hometown in Hunan Province [1,000 miles from Beijing]. But they didn’t approve our certificate so we had to go back to our home village again to get another stamp.

Obviously, the local governments in Beijing reduced access to public schools for rural migrant children in 2014 by raising the bar for admission. These measures effectively exclude more rural migrant children from public schools. Therefore, the public primary school we investigated still had spare seats, even with a reduced capacity to accommodate migrant children.

The Singular Student ID and a Blow to Unlicensed Migrant Schools

Where can migrant children who are excluded from public schools go for their education? Until 2014, there were three basic options: licensed migrant schools, unlicensed migrant schools, and, finally, public schools in the children’s hometowns should they return there. In 2009, there were 139,000 school-aged migrant children attending migrant schools in Beijing (Wang 2010a). By June 2014, there were 130 migrant schools in Beijing. Of these 67 were licensed, that is, recognized by the government, with an enrollment of around 50,000 migrant students (New Citizen Program 2014). More than 40,000 additional migrant students were served by the 63 other, unlicensed migrant schools (ibid.).

Before 2014, licensed and unlicensed migrant schools had few differences from the perspective of rural migrant children in terms of school quality or future educational prospects. Migrant children educated in either type of school still had the chance to get into a public middle school after the completion of primary education, so a pathway to the public education system remained open. The migrant school in our research was not licensed by the government. Even so, most of its graduates had been admitted by the public middle school in the district in recent years. The school principal testified:

It was quite easy in the past. Even for students with mediocre academic performance, we could negotiate with the public middle school for admissions. We could provide the students with good recommendation letters from the principal. In that way, the public middle school was willing to accept the students.

That was the story in the past. But in 2014, with the initiation of the singular student registration ID system nationwide, unlicensed migrant schools in Beijing faced a new disadvantage. The district education authorities did not grant unlicensed migrant schools access to the online electronic student information system. This meant that the 40,000 or more students currently studying in the 63 unlicensed migrant schools could not obtain a national student ID in Beijing. Further, any new students admitted to these schools would have no chance to get singular student IDs in the future, at least not in Beijing. Without a national student ID, a student would be basically eliminated from the formal educational system. Therefore, the Beijing government literally closed the pathway from unlicensed migrant schools to its public schools.

What was the situation for migrant schools with licenses? Not much better. First, the district education authorities forbade licensed migrant schools from recruiting migrant children without the “five certificates” (Xinhua Net 2014). Therefore, the entrance requirements for these schools were raised as high as those for public schools. Even if the licensed migrant schools accepted migrant children without the proper certificates in violation of government regulations, they could not give these students the electronic student IDs (Gong et al. 2014).

Without the electronic student ID, the connection between elementary migrant schools and public middle schools was broken. This is why only two out of more than 70 graduates of the unlicensed migrant school in this study managed to gain admission to a public middle school in Beijing in 2014. To acquire a student ID, the child had to leave Beijing to attend school either back in his or her hometown or in another city where acquisition of a national student ID was possible.

Our interviews showed that some migrant parents did send their children back home for public education in order to obtain legal student status for them. In the unlicensed migrant school under study, parents of children in all grades had pulled their children out of the school and sent them back home. Some migrant parents had left Beijing together with their children. In a phone interview with a migrant family, we found out that the whole family had moved from Beijing to another city, where the public education system was not as inimical as in Beijing.

Still, some migrant parents decided to keep their children in Beijing and in this migrant school even without a national student ID. Often the plan was dictated by expediency. One parent said in an interview:

[My son] is too young to take care of himself at home at this moment. He is attending this migrant school without the national student ID. I will let him go back to our home village and attend school there when he is older.

As long as the migrant children expect to go to public high school or university, they will ultimately need the ID to participate in the entrance examinations. Therefore, sooner or later they will be forced to leave Beijing, and in some cases they will do so together with their parents. Such loss of students would cause additional financial difficulties for unlicensed migrant schools. But more importantly, the Beijing government could achieve its population control goal by driving out some migrant families through its educational policies.

Conclusions

Rural migrant children have always had to overcome many hurdles to receive education in public schools in Beijing. This research shows that in 2014 the situation was aggravated, unexpectedly, by three new policies, namely, the unified hukou system, the national electronic student ID system, and the ban on cross-district school enrollment. None of the three policies was meant to target the migrant population. However, the Beijing government has employed these new policy initiatives to launch a silent movement that in effect has driven many migrant children and their families out of the city.

With the ban on cross-district school enrollment, local Beijing students who would prefer to attend schools in downtown districts flow back to their neighborhood schools on the outskirts of the city. The returned local students occupy a significant proportion of public school places in peripheral regions of Beijing, thus narrowing the space available to migrant children in these public schools. The reduced access to public schools is coupled with additional requirements on documentation. On top of the “five certificates,” migrant families are required to provide proof of social security payments in order to obtain the temporary study permit necessary to enroll in a public school. This additional requirement effectively excludes many rural migrant children from the public education system.

To serve better those migrant children who could not be admitted into public schools, the local government could have strengthened the migrant schools, both licensed and unlicensed, in terms of instruction, facilities, and staffing. However, the government manipulated the new student ID policy to make another assault on unlicensed migrant schools. It refused to issue national student IDs to children who studied in such migrant schools, thus forcing them to leave Beijing. Our interviews with migrant parents clearly show the fate of these migrant children. Some have returned to their hometowns for schooling, while others have left Beijing altogether with their whole families. Those migrant families who have kept their children in the unlicensed migrant schools are aware that sooner or later they will have to leave, too, because the children cannot go far in their education without a national student ID.

Beijing, with its 13 million residents, is one of the megacities that are mandated by the central government to control their population size, according to the new hukou reform. It seems that educational policies in Beijing have lost much of their humanistic purpose, at least for migrant children, and have become a tool of population control. Population control is a reasonable goal for Beijing, given its massive consumption of resources and its heavy pollution levels. However, the question is why rural migrant families should be the primary target of population control measures. Our investigation reveals how eager the local government is to get rid of the poor, marginalized rural migrant children and their families. They are the group that has benefited the least from the economic growth of the city. And now they are the first to bear the costs of the blind urbanization and the frenzy of expansion that have resulted from the city’s shortsighted policies over the past decades. It is a shame on Beijing, the capital city of China, to drive out rural migrant workers by denying migrant children a proper education.

Footnotes

  1. 1.

    According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China (2013), “rural migrant workers” or waichu nongmin gong (外出农民工) are defined as rural laborers who work and live in areas outside the towns or townships of their residential registration (hukou, 户口) for a period longer than six months in the survey year.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Hong KongPok Fu LamHong Kong SAR
  2. 2.University of MacauZhuhaiHong Kong SAR

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