Handbooks of Research on Public Policy series
Edited by Robert Geyer and Paul Cairney
Chapter 18: Educating for equality: the complex policy of domestic migrants’ children in China
For the last 30 years, China has been going through a massive economic and social transformation. Large-scale economic development has driven up the wealth and living standards of society and generated substantial internal migration. Most of this migration has been from the rural and agricultural area to the rapidly developing cities in China. Managing this migration has been a huge task and has led to increasing social strains – particularly in the growing urban areas where millions of migrants with limited social and economic rights put increasing pressure and demands on local and regional authorities. One of these main areas of pressure is education, in particular for the children of internal migrants. This chapter will explore some of the complexities that confront Chinese policy makers who are trying to respond to the significant inequalities in educational opportunities for the children of internal migrants. To set the scene, the education system in China will be briefly introduced, focusing on recent policy developments, the three-level structure of Chinese education and the importance of the GAOKAO examination process.
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