In 2010, Shanghai plans to set an example for the rest of the country by offering free compulsory education to children of migrant workers.
According to the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, the city invested CNY3.69 billion in 2009 on offering free education to children of migrant workers. It says that by the beginning of the first semester of 2010, 97.3% of the 400,000 students from migrant workers' families in the city have been covered by free compulsory education. And of the 18 districts and counties in Shanghai, 15 are offering free compulsory education to migrant workers' children.
Yin Houqing, the deputy director of the commission, stated that currently only about 10,000 migrant children in the city are still studying at a simple school that charges a fee, but Yin said that these students will soon be moved to government-funded schools or qualified privately-owned schools and will offer free education.
To implement a fair education system for both urban students and students from migrant workers' families, Shanghai is currently implementing various pilot programs. For example, the city's Putuo District encourages the best teachers to teach at different schools to boost the quality of education at those schools.