Local governments should bear more responsibilities to ensure that all left-behind children go to school, Liu Limin, a former vice-minister of education, said on Saturday. [Special coverage]
Parents migrating to other cities should bring their children with them so that these children could receive better care, said Liu, also a national political adviser.
He said the country has about 9 million left-behind children aged younger than 16, about 5.88 million of them are primary and secondary school students.
In China, many rural parents leave home to work in the cities, leaving their children back in villages with their elderly grandparents.
To help these children enjoy better education and live a better life, the Ministry of Civil Affairs and some other 20 administrative authorities have formed a joint work mechanism on left-behind children, Liu said.
"The system requires township and county-level governments to shoulder the responsibility to offer financial aid to these children and ensure every one of them attends school," he said.
Local schools should build a real-name registration system and persuade students who have dropped to attend schools again, he said.
Parents should also take their share of responsibility and give their children more care and attention, Liu said. "Children's mental state and living standard will suffer greatly without the companionship and love from their parents."