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Better Boarding Schools Will Improve Life for Children of Migrant Workers

Many children of migrant workers are poorly supervised and cannot access good education, so small boarding schools could help, says educator

By Zhang Qingchen Updated Aug.13

More, better boarding schools are needed in rural areas for the children of migrant workers who will then come under proper adult guardianship, said educational and civil affairs authorities. 

Because children left behind by their parents who are working in other regions of China are at risk in terms of personal safety, the Ministry of Education has ordered that rural schools need to improve educational environment and living conditions, and children of migrant workers or in special difficulties, such as poverty or lack of proper guardianship, should be given priority of accessing to boarding schools. 

In general, the guardians of these children are their grandparents, but they are too old to always keep a close eye om their development. Most seniors living in rural areas are poorly educated, so they cannot provide basic individual tutoring and psychological counseling for their grandchildren. In addition, some children living in scattered areas have to go a long way to school, said Xiong Bingqi, deputy director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, writing in the Beijing Youth Daily.  

However, such troubles can be partly solved through boarding schools. This also means that schools and teachers need to shoulder the responsibilities of children’s guardianship, Xiong said.

However, currently the educational and living conditions in rural boarding schools is poor, and teachers do not care about after-class care or management.   

Xiong suggested that boarding schools in poor rural areas should offer three meals a day and accommodation, clothing and transportation, so their families have fewer expenses and school quitting rate will be reduced. In some areas in China's less developed mid-west, students compulsory education are already offered free meals, clothing and accommodation. 

The biggest weak point in rural boarding schools is the lack of quality teachers. Xiong urged to improve the standard of teaching there. He said teachers who can take care of children's mental health are particularly needed.