Keeping kids out of trouble

A report published by the National Health and Family Planning Commission on Wednesday indicates that the migrant population in China reached 247 million in 2015, or 18 percent of its total population.

Such a large floating population has created a series of problems and challenges, such as the huge security concerns stemming from the low senior high school enrollment rate among teenagers left behind by their parents when they move from their rural hometowns to the cities to work.

The most recent statistics from the Supreme People’s Court show that in 2013 crimes committed by left-behind children accounted for 70 percent of the country’s juvenile delinquency cases, and that the percentage is gradually rising.

Despite the existence of other factors behind such offenses, the lack of attendance at school is believed to be one of the most significant. If a country has one more school, it will have one less jail, as Victor Hugo put it.

The 2015 national educational development bulletin published in early July puts the country’s gross senior high school enrollment rate at 87 percent, but the rate for left-behind teenagers is 20 percentage points lower. For many minors, dropping out of school-along with the lack of necessary family supervision-mean they are likely to go astray.

The most pressing problem is how to take practical and workable measures to remove obstacles that keep the children of migrant workers outside the education system in the places where their parents work. For migrant workers, the biggest dilemma is their inability to cross the high access threshold set by the local authorities for household registration in the cities where they work.

Without taking effective institutional measures to solve the education problem for the children of migrants, more problems and challenges will crop up in the future.

–Beijing Times

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