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Three populous Chinese regions, Beijing, Shanghai and the Guangdong Province, are set to relax restrictions on the children of rural migrant workers trying to enter university-track high schools.
According to current rules, Chinese high school students can only take university entrance exams where they are registered. The children of migrant workers are thus barred from such schools in cities.
The reform of these rules is considered as an apparent response to protests pressing for change to China's household registration regime, called hukou system.
The new system will, however, reportedly still not treat the migrants' children as equals of city residents.
"It's not ideal. They have just made the regulations more detailed, not changed the underlying situation," said Zhan Haite, a discriminated teenager whose case became a "cause célèbre" amongst reformist and triggered protests in Beijing and Shanghai in December 2012.
"I bet only 5 percent of the kids would meet the new requirements," added Zhan Haite, who is also among those ineligible under the new strict criteria.