China: Heavy schooling fees and migrant workers

“With the stepped-up developing of industrialization and urbanization in China, there’re more and more rural migrant workers in the cities. Consequently, the question that their children accept compulsory education comes out outstandingly. The report of the 17th CPC National Congress has clearly put forward that the equal rights to accept compulsory education of the migrant workers’ children should be guaranteed,” said Yuan Guiren, Chinese Vice Education Minister, at the CPC press conference last Saturday. Although Mr. Yuan has strongly emphasized the equal education rights for the migrant workers’ children, the tough reality which Netease blogger jzh8434 has depicted still makes some migrant parents worried if they can find an adequate school for their children next term.


作者:我等你(jzh8434) 2007-09-19 13:08:39





Can You Afford such schooling?

Author:Wo Dengni (jzh8434) 2007-09-19 13:08:39

Now if I talk about the difficulties that children go to school, people might think that the government has issued lots of policies on exemption from paying tuition and incidental fees etc, so there won’t be any problems to go to school, or at least it will be very easy. But the fact is not what people have imagined. It is really that the higher have policies while the lower own ways of getting around them. Let me talk about something happened around me.

Last year it’s our colleagues that looked for school for their kids. They had devoted all their efforts and visited a lot of schools, however, every time they turned them down for the same reason that the school didn’t receive migrants. I was really wondering why they didn’t receive migrants. Couldn’t the migrant workers’ children study here? It’s really difficult to understand. Finally, thanks to our company secretary’s good relation, he pulled strings with a school’s principal. At last, the principal allowed their children to register when the term had begun for a while. Although all of their kids only went to the kindergarten and the eldest one was just old enough to go to the top class, it is said the schooling fees came to 2200 RMB a term and it seemed to rise to 2400 RMB this year. However, it looked the locals didn’t have to pay so much. What a wonderful way to make money!

What’s more depressing, this year it’s time for our manager’s child to go to primary school and he thought the schooling fees wouldn’t cost him too much, but who knew he was faced a bigger problem. At first, the school gave him a bank account number. He had to deposit 5400 RMB in that account and then went to school to register with the money order or the account transfer memo. What’s more infuriating, the school asked the parents to sign an agreement which seemed to prove that the 5400 RMB was a voluntary contribution but not imposed on the parents. Who could be so silly to voluntarily give someone 5400 RMB and even without a receipt in the end? It’s said that some school had given the marked price like 8400 RMB one person, even though without pulling strings you couldn’t make it, neither. In addition to the tuition which was more than 2000 RMB, finally it cost our manager more than 7000 RMB which almost equaled to one-year tuition of a college student. How could we migrant workers afford so much money? The other day I accidently talked about that topic with my landlord. His daughter went to the same school with my colleagues’ children. When I asked him how much of his daughter’s register fees to the school, he said adding the subsistence expense it’s less than 1000 RMB. Now have a look at the difference. The migrant workers had to pay so much money more than the locals; is it ridiculous?

In the past, there’s the so called temporary studying fees (a kind of schooling fees only for the migrants’ children), but almost all of them were marked price which was fixed. Now it’s nice for the government to cancel the temporary studying fees, but subsequently the other new incidental fees have become much higher than the past temporary studying fees because the schools can ask for as much money as they want. We can say the schools have imposed much more schooling fees on the migrant workers now. The school authorities believe there have been a large number of people that have to pull strings to help their children go to school, so they don’t have to care one or two people’s problems. In a word, the schooling fees are all decided by the schools and there’s no leeway that can be discussed. Really there is no one in charge of such kind of questions? I really call for a grievance for the migrant workers and do hope someone can deal with those problems. Actually the school is the place for imparting knowledge and educating people but in fact it has become someone’s tool to make money and it’s so bold and just for them to do that.

The article which was copied from jzh8434’s blog has caused lots of people’s discussions on the Netease’s network community. Here are some of the comments:

作者:guest 2007-09-20 10:40:35


Author: Guest 2007-09-20 10:40:35

It seems if you don’t send your children (to the key school), they can’t graduate. If every educational reform was successful, why did the government start educational reform every year?

作者:(gaohongfei007) 2007-09-20 13:36:09


Author: (gaohongfei007) 2007-09-20 13:36:09

China’s economy increasing has slowed down and the welfare projects can’t catch up. It is all free to go to school and hospital abroad.

作者:(zinsser32) 2007-09-20 17:11:58

Author: (zinsser32) 2007-09-20 17:11:58

Now it’s hardly to afford a child.

作者:穷山恶水(qingshanlushui73) 2007-09-20 17:55:06


Author: Qiongshan Eshui(qingshanlushui73) 2007-09-20 17:55:06

The greatest grief does not lie in one's own foolishness in life, but when we see the wrong and unfair things we can do nothing. That is the greatest grief.

作者:(wsszzh1a)2007-09-20 21:03:18
: 如果现在说小孩子上学难问题,大家可能都在想,政府已经出台了很多政策对于减免中小学生的学杂费呀
: ……


Author: (wsszzh1a)2007-09-20 21:03:18

【jzh8434 mentioned in the article:】
“Now if I talk about the difficulties that children go to school, people might think that the government has issued lots of policies on exemption from paying tuition and incidental fees”

The policies coming from the top can be carried out smoothly?????? The well-fed don't know how the starving suffer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How can the rich and the official experience it? Or even think about the problems?! Or touch such kind of problems?? You can only complain the group without money and official power can’t change the unhealthy tendency!!!!!!!!!!!

作者:(t.x.j) ]2007-09-21 15:31:24
: 如果现在说小孩子上学难问题,大家可能都在想,政府已经出台了很多政策对于减免中小学生的学杂费呀
: ……

Author: (t.x.j) ]2007-09-21 15:31:24
【jzh8434 mentioned in the article:】
“Now if I talk about the difficulties that children go to school, people might think that the government has issued lots of policies on exemption from paying tuition and incidental fees”

Migrants, in general, the government property relatively matches the local conditions.
In fact a lot of parents long to see their sons or daughters succeed in life, so they try their best to send their children to the key school even they are not locals. If the schools only asked a low price to the migrants and all the migrants brought their children here, how would you deal with the locals’ children and who would replenish the government’s lack of resources?
We work for our own interests while others also work for their own interests.
No matter the education or something else,
once related to the national welfare, everybody hopes the national welfare can cater for their needs, but who would like to stand out to dedicate his own interests?
Not talking about everyone’s political enthusiasm, if all of you hold such a selfish attitude and everyone wants to live a easy life, who is willing to reform and develop the society? If everyone is unwilling to, we can only live like now. Sometimes it’s not a question that others ride roughshod over our head, but we are willing to be ridden.
uh-huh, that’s it.
In a word, moral question!

作者:rockszq(rockszq) 2007-09-21 16:11:43

Author: rockszq(rockszq) 2007-09-21 16:11:43

Children’s education, medical insurance
Because of the two problems, the Chinese dare not grant a loan, and use money.
If you spend all your savings, in case there’s something unlucky…you even won’t know how to die.

作者:Guest 2007-09-22 12:04:34

Author: Guest
Now the education is just like this. You can’t do anything and don’t blame those people (the school authorities) because it’s China’s reality. Who says China’s laws and legal rules are very sound? In fact, the laws only work for the rich and those people without money can’t enjoy the rights and the preferential treatment at all, so we can only accept the fate. Anyway we can never struggle with the country.

作者:(zb00z) 2007-09-22 19:14:25

Author: (zb00z) 2007-09-22 19:14:25
When my cousin went to the middle school, his family spent 30,000 RMB. Although we were locals who went to the local school and had passed the middle school entrance examination, would you hand in your money? If you didn’t, there would be N (a large number of) people waiting behind you with money. It’s a key high school ~ you can do nothing. When I was a child, it only cost 100 RMB to go to middle school ~ the tuition in the university was only 8000 RMB a year.
The society puts money above all; the person puts money above all!
Giving a suggestion, Play (DINK). See~ I’m still not married though I have been 25 years old.

作者:Guest 2007-09-23 00:09:51
看了你们的大作,触的我也心疼起来了。我也是个打工仔呀。 无奈

Author: Guest 2007-09-23 00:09:51
Having seen your comments, I begin to feel sad. I’m also a migrant worker. Helplessness.


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