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July 7, 2016

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Recruitment challenges at migrant kindergartens

KINDERGARTENS for migrant children in Shanghai lack qualified teachers, according to a survey report released by Shanghai Normal University yesterday.

The report said that their poor educational background means that teachers at migrant kindergartens have little scope for career success, which has led to a high turnover rate and low educational standards.

“Many teachers in such special kindergartens have no qualifications in teaching or preschool education, while such qualifications are a must in (non-migrant) kindergartens in the city,” said Lu Jianfei, professor of the university and leader of the research group.

Even in Shanghai, which is known for its high quality of education, preschool education for migrant children is substandard, according to the survey covering five cities. The four other cities are Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Chongqing.

In regular kindergartens, a junior college degree is the lowest requirement for teachers, but only 70 percent of teachers at kindergartens for migrant children in Shanghai have graduated from junior colleges and none have university degrees, said the report.

Almost all the teachers at migrant kindergartens come from outside of Shanghai, speaking the dialects of their hometowns and knowing little about Shanghai culture.

“It makes the kindergartens an isolated island in the sense of culture and children are not helped to integrate into local society,” said Lu. “It can also cause estrangement between different social classes.”

The salary for teachers at kindergartens for migrant children is between 2,000 and 3,000 yuan (US$448) a month, which is just enough to live on in the city, according to the report.

More than half of the teachers at migrant kindergartens have no more than one year of work experience and only one tenth have worked for more than three years, said the report. To make matters worse, migrant teachers do not enjoy the same training opportunities as their counterparts in regular kindergartens, giving them little chance to better themselves, it added.


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