Shanghai’s teachers on minimum wage

My report on migrant children shows that children without a local hukou in the cities are barred from major social services. Many can only study in sub-standard migrant schools. An NGO in Shanghai conducted a survey of 78 migrant schools in 2007 and found that teachers in Shanghai’s migrant schools earn between 950 and 1,000 yuan a month, barely more than the minimum wage, compared with 5,000 yuan for teachers in state schools. This does not take into account the housing allowances and other fringe benefits only available to teachers in state schools. High workloads and shamefully low salaries have turned many qualified teachers away. According the survey, three out of five of teachers would leave within six to twelve months. Only a small proportion of teachers in migrant school had a university degree, and more than a third of teachers did not have teaching qualifications. Only half of surveyed classrooms had proper lighting. If a school did have a computer, it was usually very old and was given as a gift.  Severely lacking in resources, the majority of schools can only provide education in “core” subjects, such as Chinese, English and Mathematics.

Schooling is not free for most migrant children. On average, each child pays about 600 yuan in school fees each semester.  Given that migrant families on average earn about 1,000 yuan a month, families who can not afford to send all their children to school, usually only send the boys.

The full survey report can be downloaded from the Crossroads website.
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