Due to China’s rigid laws about moving between rural areas and cities, many children whose parents have moved illegally wind up at privately run schools designed specifically for them, such as the one pictured above. These schools often deliver a subpar education, with limited resources and unqualified teachers. Hundreds of migrant parents gathered outside the Chinese Ministry of Education last week, demanding better education for their children, according to France 24. It marked the 21st time migrant workers in Beijing had petitioned the government to let their children take the country’s college entrance exam in the city, rather than being forced to return to their hometowns for it.
As one parent told France 24:
It’s a problem that has taken over my life. If we send her back to our hometown alone, we won’t be able to take care of her. Not only that, but the testing system is different there from in Beijing. I also think it will be very difficult for her to adapt to her new school environment. Yet her future is inextricably bound to this single exam. So, the other option is that we all go back together, which means I lose my job in Beijing.
The result [of the protest] was very disappointing. They told us that the ministry would look into the problem, but they didn’t give us a time frame as to when we could expect an official response. When we brought the problem to [Education Minister Yuan Guiren] nearly one year ago, he promised to find a solution then, but we’re still waiting to hear anything.