Understanding migrant children’s education in Beijing: policies, implementation, and the consequences for privately-run migrant schools

Pong, Myra Wai-Jing (2013) Understanding migrant children’s education in Beijing: policies, implementation, and the consequences for privately-run migrant schools. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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In China, the so-called “tidal wave” of rural-urban migrant workers since the
early 1980s has created unique challenges for the government, one being migrant
children’s education in cities. In 2001, the central government adopted a policy of “two
priorities” (liangweizhu) towards the provision of compulsory education for these
children, where the two areas of focus would be management by local governments in
receiving areas – which, in the case of municipalities like Beijing, refers primarily to the
municipal and district governments – and education in public schools. This
decentralization of responsibilities, however, has created space for differential policy
implementation, and, in Beijing, this has meant that many migrant children still attend
poor quality, often unlicensed migrant schools that are vulnerable to government
closures and demolition.

Though migrant children’s education is attracting increasing government and
societal attention, the effects of decentralization on privately-run migrant schools and
their students remain largely unexplored. In light of the policy of “two priorities,” this
thesis highlights the development of two trends in Beijing: 1) the emergence of
variation between district policy approaches and 2) increased civil society involvement.
Using Haidian, Shijingshan, and Fengtai districts as cases, this study draws on evidence
from qualitative interviews and policy document analysis to examine the interaction
between these two trends and the consequences for migrant schools. It addresses
critical questions concerning how policy implementation operates in an increasingly
important but complex policy area and why, including the roles of policy history and
local context, and illustrates that the municipal and district-level policy approaches
shape the situations of migrant schools and their students directly and indirectly
(through their impact on civil society). These findings shed light on the complexities of
the implementation process and the implications for trends in social stratification,
creating a stronger foundation upon which to improve educational opportunities for
migrant children in Beijing.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: Institute of Development Studies
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC1390 Education of special classes of persons > LC3701 Immigrants or ethnic and linguistic minorities. Bilingual schools
L Education > LG Individual institutions (Asia. Africa. Oceania) > LG021 Asia > LG051 China
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2013 06:13
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2015 12:26
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/45118

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