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September 17, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

Too many kids, too few kindergartens

ILLEGAL kindergartens keep appearing in the city as the number of migrant children in the city increases and access to official kindergartens remains poor, officials said yesterday.

Two new illegal kindergartens have been discovered in an industrial park in the suburban Baoshan District.

Factories surround the kindergartens and dump trucks speed past during the day.

The kindergartens accommodate about 280 children on the former site of factories. Most are migrant workers' children who moved there after their original ones were found closed by the government.

Town government officials are now trying to find suitable places for the children before closing the latest kindergartens down.

Officials say there has been an explosive growth in the number of migrant children, far exceeding their expectations and the building of new school premises.

Baoshan District had 600,000 migrants at the end of last year, but the number had grown to the current 720,000. Most of them were young adults who had brought their children with them to the city.

The district built 10 new kindergartens last year but that was still far from enough.

Similar problems have been reported throughout the city, especially in Minhang District and the Pudong New Area.

City kindergartens enrolled about 352,000 children last year. By 2015, the number will grow to 500,000.

There are plans for 400 more kindergartens in the city in five years' time.

Meanwhile, Shanghai Education Commission officials said they would soon ease the kindergarten shortage by setting up day-care centers.

The kindergarten service is not included in the country's compulsory education and therefore enjoys much less government financial support. Parents have to pay for the service.

The day-care centers, with fewer teaching and leisure facilities, will reduce the tuition burden on migrant workers, officials said.


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