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Living in the city

Updated: 2016-01-21 08:04
By Xu Wei (China Daily)

 Living in the city

A migrant worker prepares a schoolbag and snacks for her daughter Jia Jia (first right) at their home in Beijing on the day before she leaves for school in Hengshui, Hebei province. Because her parents don't have Beijing hukou, Jia Jia attends the school, which is about 270 km from Beijing. Photos by Huang Liang / For China Daily

Population control

In recent years, the capital has stepped up measures to control the number of residents in the downtown areas.

According to a guideline in the 13th Five Year Plan (2016-2020) issued by the Beijing Municipal Committee, the capital will try to limit the population to 23 million by 2020, and reduce the downtown population by 15 percent.

Under the guideline, the capital will strictly control population growth, and reduce the number of residents via a series of economic, legal and administrative measures.

Liu said the measures are already being felt by parents looking for primary schools for their children. "I had a colleague who managed to find his daughter a school in 2013, so it wasn't too much of a worry until last year (when his son attained school age)," he recalled.

However, he said the requirements for school registration became far more stringent last year, when the capital stepped up its population-control measures.

"The number of certificates required has risen from five in 2014 to more than 20," he said.

In a work report to the Standing Committee of the District People's Congress, Yin Lijun, director of the education commission in the Haidian district of Beijing, said the authority is expecting the number of children from nonlocal families to decline in the next five years. The number enrolled in primary schools is predicted to fall from 8,000 last year to 6,000 in 2020, as the capital tightens population controls and further "perfects the standards of the approval process".

Liu said he considered enrolling his son at a private school, but doing so could jeopardize the boy's chances of being admitted to a State-run high school in the future.

Meanwhile, many schools in Hebei, which neighbors Beijing, have reached out to parents faced with difficulties in enrolling their children in the capital's schools. For example, the school Liu's son attends has assigned a teacher to escort the students on the monthly 270-km train journey between Hengshui and Beijing when the children are reunited with their parents.

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