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China reports fewer ‘left-behind children’

Updated: Jul 7,2016 10:57 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China recorded about 560,000 fewer rural “left-behind” children in 2015 than the year before, and more moved to cities to live with their parents, the Ministry of Education said on July 6.

About 20.19 million “left-behind children” attended rural primary and junior high schools in 2015, down from 20.75 million in 2014, according to an annual ministry report.

The phrase is used in China to describe rural children whose parents work in other cities. Left-behind children usually live with relatives, often their grandparents, while their parents work away from home.

Last year, the number of rural children attending schools in the cities where their parents work increased by about 720,000 to 13.67 million, according to the report.

China’s national household registration system, or “hukou,” has been a major reason that children of migrant workers have had less access to urban public schools. However, many city governments have gradually eased restrictions over the past few years.