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szdaily -> NIE
Survey finds migrant students feel more depressed
     2010-October-13  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

“我是外地生,请不要歧视我”

深圳是一个移民城市,家庭流动性大,许多学生也像候鸟一样,随着他们的父母在各个城市辗转停留。市妇女儿童心理咨询中心日前对全市1500名8到17岁的"移民学生"心理健康状况进行抽样调查。结果显示,在他们当中普遍存在自卑、孤僻、人际关系不良等问题,许多学生认为自己在学校受到过歧视和不公平对待。

Wang Yuanyuan

Migrant students in Shenzhen feel more depressed than their peers who have Shenzhen hukou, or permanent residence permit, according to a survey carried out by the city's women and children's psychological consultation center.

The children of migrant families are also more likely to feel they are treated unfairly, the survey said.

About 1,500 non-hukou students ages from 8 to 17 participated in the survey, and the findings revealed that most of them felt inferior, lonely, depressed and troubled in relationships, the survey said.

More than 80 percent had transferred schools at least two times, which hurt their studies, the survey said.

"Constantly changing schools has caused some psychological problems for the students because they need more time to adapt to the new environment," said Zhang Xiaoli, vice director of the center. "They also easily weary of studying, and this is why most of these students don't do well in school."

Zhang found during research that the main reason they lack motivation to study was because of unstable family situations, such as their parents changing jobs or the family moving frequently.

"Many of these students' parents live in a very unstable environment," Zhang said. "They frequently change their jobs, homes and even cities, and their children have to move with them and transfer schools. Facing different study environments, materials and methods, many students find it difficult to cope with in a short period of time. It affects their performance and eventually affects their interest in studying."

"I've lived in the city for about five years and changed schools four times," said Zhang Tong, 14, who lived in Bao'an, Longgang and Luohu districts before moving to Futian District.

"When I first left Bao'an, where I had lived for two years, I was so upset about leaving my friends. After that, I did not want to make friends with new classmates because I knew we would soon part."

The migrant life also left many of them feeling inferior. Nearly 30 percent of those polled said they were looked down upon by local students.

"New students are more apt to have this feeling," said Xu Huasheng, principal of Xixiang Huasheng Experimental School. About 70 percent of its students are migrant workers' children.

"These students normally tend to hide their feelings," Xu said. "Because they have no way to express their feelings, they will feel more depressed if some kids make fun of them about their clothes, way of thinking or family background."

A student from one of the city's biggest schools for children of migrant workers recalled the difficulties. "There was one time when I went home with classmates after school," said Fan Minfan, a junior school student from Shenzhen Hongsheng School. "We met some students who laughed at our uniforms, saying we were the bad students from bad migrant workers' schools. I was so depressed and angry because I did not know why they looked down upon us. There are excellent students at our school too."

Xu said that his school encourages these students to build friendships with local students. "Discrimination against migrant students often happens among young students, mainly primary school students," Xu said. "Students of higher grades, such as Junior 3 or above, have come to realize that this group of students are the same as them and should be treated equally as friends and classmates."

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