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Limits Eased on Migrants' College Exams

Xinhua News Agency, November 26, 2012 Adjust font size:

While migrants' children in most cases will be allowed to sit for college entrance exams in Chinese cities where their parents work, some restrictions are still anticipated, especially in large cities such as Shanghai.

Provinces will begin to lift a ban that does not allow the children to sit for the exams if their parents don't have their household registration in the place where they live.

Northeast China's Heilongjiang and eastern Anhui and Jiangsu provinces will lift the ban next year, officials said.

Children of migrant workers working in Anhui will be able to take national college entrance exams, or gaokao, there without having to return to the place of their household registration.

But they will have equal rights as local exam students only if they have attended high schools in the province for three consecutive years.

About 2,000 migrant students attend high schools in Anhui, and 300 of them are expected to take the gaokao exams in the province, according to local government statistics.

East China's Shandong, Fujian and Jiangxi provinces will follow suit in 2014, the Beijing News reported last Friday.

Although China's household registration system no longer ties migrant children's compulsory education to their birth places, migrant students can't take college entrance exams outside their native homes.

Currently, China has nearly 20 million rural children aged under 14 who have followed their migrant-worker parents to cities, according to the China Children and Teenagers' Fund.

The Chinese mainland's 32 provincial-level authorities were required in August to submit plans on migrants attending the gaokao before the end of the year, according to the Ministry of Education. Changes also are expected in megacities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, where most Chinese migrant workers live.

"Governments of big cities will likely set stricter terms and conditions for migrants attending gaokao," said Xiong Bingqi, deputy head of the 21st Century Education Research Institute.

Local parents in megacities are upset and expect fierce competition as more students will be vying for scarce educational resources and the competitive college entrance quota.

Shanghai has not set a date for the plan, but the local government will implement a points-based system. Children of migrants with enough points will qualify for Shanghai's gaokao. Points depend on such factors as property and the number of years working and paying into social security.

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