Tom：So in these schools, the blackboards are often just a piece of wood painted black. Even though there are many standards established for education in China, the educators are evaluated, the schools always get passed regardless the quality of the building and teachers. I don’t think this is a secret, this is sth. well known, but hasn’t really been addressed.
YZ：So in this kind of schools, it’s very hard for the students to learn anything, or be an expert on anything. The more severe thing is that they have to pass the college-entrance-exam to get into the colleges.
Tom：I discovered an interesting thing when I was in Sichuan last year. I discovered many of my students had very low geography skills, not just world geography, they weren’t even sure what provinces touch Sichuan. When we started asking them, they told us in their middle schools, the teachers knew that the geography is not under Gaokao, so simply claimed they had geography classes, they were on the schedule, but there were no geography class, they were just using it as extra time to prepare for Gaokao.
YZ：Zhiyong, my next question is for you. I know you have been working with some of the principals of Migrants Workers Children Schools in suburb of Beijing. What have you seen? How about the situations there? Are they good schools? What’s the quality of the education there?
WW：Take Beijing’s migrant schools as examples. Dr. Xu has been working with some principals of these kind of schools. According to him, the conditions about these schools are still quite lacking behind in terms of classrooms, buildings, a lot of the buildings are very old and broken. The quality of the teachers vary. Since their salaries and benefits are lower compared to those in the public schools in the cities, they might not be up to standards comparing to their counterparts in the cities.
YZ：My question goes like this: if I were a migrant worker working in a big city, I have two options, either send my children back to the rural schools which are poor as Tom just described, or I can live with my children in the city, which is great for me, but they have to go to the Migrant Workers Children Schools. Which one would most of the migrant workers choose? 这个问题我想先问一下志永。Zhiyong, would you like to tell us?
WW：The choices for the migrant parents are actually complicated. By law, their kids are entitled to enter the public schools in the cities, but in reality, they don’t get the quota or the support for their kids to get into those schools.
WW：It’s a complicated story. Even though the Migrant Workers Children Schools are poorer than the public schools, the conditions are not so good, they are popular because the parents can get their kids into those schools easier and they can live with their kids. But when they are old enough for high schools, they are forced to return to their villages because they are not eligible to take the Gaokao in the cities; they have to go back where they Hukou are registered. So they have to return to villages when the kids are about to enter high schools.