Beijing has been host to a growing number of migrant workers over the past 20 years.
Beijing has been host to a growing number of migrant workers over the past 20 years. Due to household registration rules, they are unable to send their children to public schools, and often cannot afford expensive private schools. Since 1997, migrant schools have sprung up citywide peaking at around 600 schools providing education for over 1 million migrant children. Beijing’s campaign to control its population has picked up pace since 2006 and it has become increasingly tough for migrant schools to operate – the threat of demolition and policy uncertainties hang over most migrant schools. To date, only 63 migrant schools have obtained an operating license in Beijing. Private migrant schools have been operating in a gray zone, relying on local governments’ tolerance to expand, and it is a test of policymakers’ wisdom to properly handle migrant schools to ensure all children have access to education.