China to educate 22 mn kids left behind at home

Beijing, Jan 11 (IANS) China will make sure that around 22 million rural children, left behind by their worker parents after moving to big cities, receive compulsory education.

The ministry of education will develop a system to register the children, the China Daily reported.

The rapid urbanisation has led to many children, who have one or both parents working away from home, leaving them under the care of grandparents or other relatives, the ministry said.

The number of such children in China stands at 22 million, it said.

The ministry asked local governments to improve the care of such children and make sure they are not left unattended.

A new registration system will document all children under the age of 16 to guarantee they receive an education.

An expert said the authorities should make it clear that guardians who fail to send children to school will be severely punished.

"Many migrant workers return to their hometown once a year or even every three to five years. They should realize that no one can replace the communication and care that parents can give to their children," another official said.

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