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Hukou and Education Inequality in China

2019-06-24 来源: 51due教员组 类别: Essay范文

下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文- Hukou and Education Inequality in China,供大家参考学习,这篇论文讨论了中国的户口和教育不平等。教育作为一项重要的公共资源和服务,也受到户籍制度的影响。许多与教育有关的政策和制度也与户口登记密切相关。虽然我国一直提倡普及九年义务教育,但由于城乡教育资源差异较大,农村义务教育进程相对缓慢。另外,农民工子女的教育不公问题也越来越受到关注。

The household registration system (hukou) is a basic national system and an administrative management tool in China. The household registration management in the simple sense includes the birth registration account, the change of the residential location, the death declaration, the marriage registration and the identity card information management, with a series of institutional data closely related to citizenship. The existence of household registration is beneficial for government departments to accurately obtain basic information about citizens, such as age, address, education level, and kinship, and to maintain social stability and public safety. However, China's urban-rural dual household registration system is originated from the special historical period of planned economy, with the mission of controlling the free flow of populations and ensuring agricultural supply. The household registration system has not only become a system of management and statistics, but has also become a means of dividing scarce resources and social interests, leading to injustice and discrimination in the allocation of social resources.

As an important public resource and service, education in China is also affected by household registration. Many education-related policies and systems are also closely linked to household registration. Although China has always advocated the popularization of nine-year compulsory education, due to the large differences in urban and rural educational resources, the process of compulsory education in rural areas is relatively slow. In addition, with the rapid development of China's economy and the accelerating urbanization process, the spatial mobility of the population has increased dramatically with 261 million urban residents with displaced hukou and 240 million rural migrant workers . The education injustice of migrant children is also receiving more and more attention. Due to the limited capability of the state to allocate enough social resources in the current stage, the household registration system, despite the detrimental effects, is likely to continue in the foreseeable future. Education is severely and negatively affected by the current household registration system in China. This essay will demonstrate this argument by examining China’s education system from the perspectives of admission, resources, and outcome.

Starting point fairness is the beginning of the realization of equal access to education. If the fairness in enrollment is lost due to external factors, then equal rights cannot be obtained. Since the mid-1980s, the industrialization and urbanization driven by China's economic reforms have caused the largest population movement in human history. Due to the lag of the reform in social management such as the obsolete household registration system, the workers who flow into the city cannot enjoy the equal treatment that the citizens should enjoy in many aspects. Among them, the problem of compulsory education for children accompanying their children is prevalent. On the one hand, admission procedures are extremely difficult for the non-local population. Since China's household registration system has many restrictive factors for compulsory education, it is not easy for migrants to have equal access to compulsory education. For example, in a large city with dense population and scarce educational resources in Beijing, the requirement for compulsory education for school-age children is indeed very strict.

On the other hand, the cost of admission is higher than the local population. Non-local students who normally go to Beijing public schools are required to pay additional fees known as “Jiedu” or “Zexiao” fees. Otherwise, they will not be able to enter the city's schools to study, but will be transferred to the suburbs or the public schools in the near-rural areas. Schools in remote areas are not only far from the city, but also lack in the quality of teaching. In 2009, the Beijing Municipal Education Commission forwarded the notice to cancel all additional fees for non-local students. Although this practice banned the collection of “Jiedu” fees, the actual situation is not optimistic. Many schools have turned this fee into a personal donation to the school, an unspoken rule in the dark . For migrant workers’ children, they cannot afford to pay a high price. Therefore, most of them will choose to go to a remote public school, or migrant workers’ schools with relatively weak teaching quality.

Although Beijing has reduced or cancelled the additional fees for the children of migrant workers in accordance with state regulations, the procedures for applying for admission are very complicated. According to Beijing regulations, all children of migrant workers who come to Beijing must apply through their parents or guardians. When applying, they must hold their temporary residence permit in Beijing, the residence certificate of the actual residence in Beijing, the employment certificate in Beijing, and the township government where their household is located, proof of family registration, etc.  . The applicants also need to return to their hukou location to issue a “certificate of no guardianship in the local area.” This has already reflected the exclusiveness of urban schools against the marginalized children of migrant workers. Children of migrant workers with local (their hukou location) guardianship conditions cannot apply to enter urban schools. The establishment of the checkpoint at the time of admission is equivalent to indirectly controlling the number of borrowers, even without the additional fees.

It can be seen that the central government's insufficient financial input is an important reason why it is difficult to completely cancel the link between hukou and public-school admission. At present, the financial responsibility for the development of compulsory education for children of migrant population is entirely borne by the inflowing government, and the central and provincial finances have not given certain support. This has largely hampered the local government's support for the migrant children's education. For the inflowing government, the complete exemption from the hukou constraints means an obligation to accept more students, which undoubtedly puts great pressure on local finance and the limited educational resources. The mobility of the population also causes great difficulties for school management. Therefore, at this stage, the central government is unable to give financial support to the inflowing government, and it is impossible to completely lift the hukou constraints on public school admission.

The process equity of compulsory education is mainly reflected in the allocation of education resources. The city is mostly superior to the rural areas in terms of educational facilities and teacher staff. China's urbanization is still at a developing level and cannot meet the educational needs of all people, especially in large cities and megacities. In such a situation, in order to ensure that the urban population has preferential access to educational resources, the household registration is applied, resulting in uneven resource distribution. Urban areas have more priority and can gain more state attention: they will get more and more excellent educational resources, thus attracting more wealthy families to enter the city. Rural children cannot get the opportunity to change their destiny because they do not have good educational resources, and can only continue living in poverty. This kind of influence will also be passed down from generation to generation, forming the Matthew effect in which the city is getting richer and some rural areas are getting poorer.

Although the urban population has urban hukou, there is also the education zoning inequality. From the perspective of the city, the popularity of nine-year compulsory education seems to be no longer difficult. For children who are already able to have an education for admission to school, access to schools has been guaranteed, and access to a school with better teaching resources and education has become a major issue for urban families. Intrinsically, hukou in China is linked to housing policies. Urban children in China must be allocated to schools according to the hukou districts, and the educational resources of different residential districts are not balanced. This will closely link household registration and compulsory education. Thus, household registration becomes the decisive condition for choosing the quality of education, and the added value of hukou increases. Some families choose to move by allowing their children to receive better educational resources. The method of relocating not only inevitably contributes to the higher housing prices of “school district” and “zexiao” (school selection) , but also turns compulsory education into a private product determined by the income level and the family background. A rich family can choose a good school district with more expensive property, and a family with lower income can only accept reality and attend the not-so-good schools.

The unfairness in education outcome not only affects the student's grades, but also affects the long-term development of their lives. Due to the differences in economic level and educational resources between urban and rural areas, there is a serious shortage of rural education resources. The higher the level of education, the smaller proportion of rural population enrollment. From the enrollment rate of urban and rural primary and middle school graduates, the number of urban primary school graduates in 2013 was 4.439 million, the number of middle school enrollment was 4.815 million, with an enrollment rate of 108.4%. In contrast, the rural middle school enrollment rate was only 49.0%. In the same year, the rate of urban high school enrollment was 81.4%. For rural China, the rate of enrollment was only 8.9%, only about one tenth of the urban regions . In both sets of data, the rate of rural enrollment is significantly lower. This is due to the weak teaching qualities in rural areas. Many rural students choose to abandon their study opportunities and leave collectively to work in cities.

In the process of education for the children of the migrating population, no urban hukou makes it difficult for them to obtain the qualifications for taking the college entrance examination in the city. China's college entrance examination enrollment system implements a quota-based admission model. The provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions determine the number of places to be enrolled, and decide on the college entrance examination scores. Such a system has resulted in different admission rates for college entrance examinations. For cities with developed economy and relatively rich educational resources, such as Beijing and Shanghai, there are a large number of institutions of higher education, most of which are supported by local finances. Therefore, schools often focus on local students when enrolling. If rural students want to go to college or attend a good university, they often must compete for a handful of allocated spots.

Under normal circumstances, the proportion of local students enrolled in urban colleges is much larger than that of non-local students. Non-local candidates, even if their scores are comparable to or higher than the urban candidates, may still lose the opportunity to receive higher education. The hukou system requires the candidates to take the college entrance exams in their home province, and top universities allocate higher proportions of the quota to first-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai. This leads to the imbalanced college entrance rates among different regions. Similar results are obtained by Li et al., showing that rural youth are 11 times less likely to attend renowned universities than their urban counterparts. There are certainly reasons for the differences in the level of education. However, the inclination of the urban higher education resources to the urban hukou students is the main reason for the lost higher education opportunities in less developed regions. It can be seen that under the current high-stakes education system in China, hukou, or where to participate in the college entrance examination, has become one of the determining factors.

In conclusion, the household registration system artificially divides the residents into the binary structure of urban and rural hukou, and attaches a series of social resource allocations related to people's livelihood and basic citizen rights. As one of the important components of basic public services, education is also affected and restricted by hukou. This essay focuses on the relationship between urban population and rural population, local population and migrating population, so as to analyze the differences in enrollment opportunities, resource allocation and outcome of higher education. It is clear that the current educational injustice is largely originated from the discriminating hukou system. However, the state does not have the financial power to satisfy the education needs of the entire population. Completely breaking the identity boundary between urban hukou and rural hukou in China requires substantial financial and institutional support, and is not happening in the foreseeable future.

Bibliography

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Helen Gao. “China’s Education Gap.” The New York Times. 4 Sep 2014. Accessed from: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/05/opinion/sunday/chinas-education-gap.html.

Keung Wong, Daniel Fu, Chang Ying Li, and He Xue Song. "Rural Migrant Workers in Urban China: Living a Marginalised Life." International Journal of Social Welfare 16, no. 1 (2007): 32-40.

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