Laowai, particularly those with children who work and live in the PRD, perhaps find it difficult to educate their kids here. Guangdong, for instance, has only 16 international schools accredited by the Ministry of Education, whereas Shanghai already had at least 28 in 2004.
That at least seems to be the working assumption, anyhow, of PRD officials, who according to Guangzhou Daily began considering a proposal through the Guangdong CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) on Monday this week, aimed at accelerating the the formulation of policies to reduce educational barriers for primary and secondary students originating in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and overseas.
The call comes from Deng Jinghong, one of the more media friendly of Guangdong CPPCC delegates and a strong voice on education in Guangzhou, who told Guangzhou Daily earlier this week that while foreign kids in the PRD usually receive their education from approved international schools (of which Guangzhou has just 6), one option which ought to be equally available would be to have children enroll as a “common student” in a Chinese public school. Deng says that although many public middle and primary schools throughout the PRD still can’t accept international students due to the lack of effective local policies to support such endeavors, the Ministry of Education did write in 2004 that provincial education authorities do have the authority to approve local schools’ requests to admit foreign students.
It’s a good call, and if it leads to action, it’d mean a great opportunity for families to really get to know the Pearl River Delta. Some of you could even end up teaching your own kids.