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March 15, 2011

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Home » Metro » Education

School cash rules benefit migrants

MIGRANT workers' children are set to benefit from changes to how the city allocates its education resources, officials said yesterday.

For the first time, Shanghai will base school funding according to the number of people who have lived in the city for more than six months, education authorities said in an elementary education meeting. To date, cash provided has been based on the number of people who hold a hukou - a permanent resident's permit.

While the 470,000-plus migrant children in the city have been able to receive the same free nine-year compulsory education as locals since last year, more than 120,000 are unable to study in state schools due to resource shortages.

Currently, 70.4 percent of local school students study at suburban schools. Most migrant children attend suburban schools but these schools only account for 63.7 percent of the total number of the city's facilities.

The balance will be redressed as the city drafts its education blueprint for the next five years based on the new system of allocating resources, said the Shanghai Education Commission.

Suburban districts, which have reported large increase in migrant population in recent years, welcomed the change. "The hukou-based allocation system ignores the education needs of the non-local workers' kids," said Cao Xikang, director of Pudong New Area Education Bureau.

Meanwhile, as babies born to non-local families will account for more that 40 percent of newborns in three years, the city lacks 100 primary schools and middle schools to meet demand. Shanghai will invest 125 million yuan (US$19 million) to build five new middle schools in five suburban districts this year.

The city will also build 100 public kindergartens, 205 private kindergartens and 320 child-care centers by 2013.


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