Children of migrant workers face different holidays

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-9-30 9:20:37

For 10-year-old Shi Lu, China's upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival means a lot as it is the first time she will spend the traditional reunion holiday with her parents.

This month, Shi transferred from her hometown, in east China's Anhui Province, to study in a primary school for migrant workers' children in Beijing.x "My parents have worked in Beijing for 12 years. They came back to visit me only during the Spring Festival. I have spent all the past Mid-Autumn Festivals with my grandparents," Shi said.

To celebrate the festival, Shi's father will bring the whole family to visit Tian'anmen Square and the Great Wall, hoping to make up for lost time.

The Mid-Autumn Day plus National Day combo-holiday runs from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7, with hundreds of millions of Chinese people expected to travel.

Wang Shuang, a junior school student who is due to graduate from the Beijing Xinghua Middle School next summer, does not feel excited about the eight-day holiday.

"I have to take full advantage of the holiday to prepare for my entrance exams for high school," Wang said.

As a son of migrant workers, Wang does not hold a Beijing-registered "hukou", so he has to take the exams in his hometown in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

China's migrant workers face difficulties educating their children like their urban peers, as migrants do not hold a household registration, commonly known as "hukou," in the area they have moved to. The lack of hukou also prevents them from enjoying other social benefits when they relocate, including access to medical services and other resources.

Wang hopes the government will issue new policies to allow children of migrant workers, like him, to take college entrance exams in Beijing in the future.

Luo Jingjing, a child of migrant workers, will go on vacation with her parents in south China's island province of Hainan during the holidays.

Luo's parents run a private company in Beijing and can afford an expensive tour.

"My husband and I have been working round the clock. I want to put aside the work temporarily to stay with my daughter," said Luo's mother.

Education for children of migrant workers is a major problem in today's society, said Sun Xiaoying, a researcher with the Academy of Social Sciences in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Their different expectations for the holiday reflects they are in dire need of care and love from both their parents and society, Sun said.

The total number of migrants in China reached 230 million last year, or 17 percent of the country's total population according to a report issued by the National Population and Family Planning Commission in August.

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