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托福阅读素材:值得同情的留守儿童

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Lisa

2016年04月29日

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  托福阅读素材:本文选自《经济学人》20151017期,介绍中国的留守儿童现状。

  Pity the children 同情孩子们

  There are 70m reasons to ease China’s curbs on internal migration

  IMAGINE you are a young married man or woman in rural China. There are no jobs, so you find work in a big city, perhaps 1,000 miles away. Butgovernment restrictions mean that if you take your children with you they will almost certainly not be able to attend schools where you live, or visit a state doctor. And if your parents come to share the child care, their pension will be too small for them to live on. What do you do?

  想象你是一位中国农村的已婚男女。在你居住的地方没有工作,于是你在离家1000英里外的地方找到一份工作。但是政府的限制意味着,如果你把你的孩子带在身边,他们几乎确定不能在你工作居住的地方上学,又或者是去公立医院。如果你的父母过来帮助照看孩子,他们的养老金少的不足以生活。若是这样,你会怎么做?

  For the parents of 61m Chinese children, the answer is to leave them behind in the villages where they were born, to be looked after by grandparents (often illiterate) or other relatives. Another 9m are left in one city by parentsworking in another. The 70m total is almost the number of all the children in the United States.

  对于6100万孩子的父母来说,答案是把孩子留在他们出生的村子,由祖辈(通常是文盲)或者其他亲属来照看,另外900万被父母留在城市。而他们的父母,在另一个城市工作。这7000万孩子几乎相当于美国儿童的总和。

  These so-called “left-behind children” are a dark facet of China’s shining economic development. They make up a disproportionate share of the population in the countryside, where children are four times as likely to be short for their age as urban ones, a measure of malnutrition. A survey this year for a charity called Growing Home found that left-behind children were more likely than their peers to be depressed or emotionally unstable. Researchers inShanghai found that left-behind children underperform at school, and that their emotional and social development lags behind. Stories of abuse and suicide are rife; evidence suggests that left-behind children are more at risk of turning to crime.

  这些所谓的“留守儿童”是中国闪亮经济发展的阴暗面。他们构成了中国乡村人口不成比例的那一部分。在那里,由于营养不良,孩子们寿命不足的概率是他们城市同龄人的4倍。今年由成长家庭基金会的一项调查显示,留守儿童比他们的同龄人更容易沮丧,或者是情绪上的不稳定。上海的一项调查表明,留守儿童在学校的表现平平,情绪和社交上的成长也相对落后。发生在他们身上的虐待和自杀也普遍存在;证据表明留守儿童有更高犯罪的风险。

  This is a common pattern in other countries where parents move away from their families for work. Studies from the Philippines show that children of mothers working abroad struggle at school. In Sri Lanka left-behind children are almost twice as likely to be underweight as the average. But China’s problem is both much larger—it has more left-behind children than the rest of the world put together—and largely self-inflicted, the result of restrictions on migration within the country.

  在其他国家,父母离家外出工作也是普遍存在。研究表明,在菲律宾,母亲外出工作的孩子,对于学校生活也很吃力。斯里兰卡的留守儿童体重不足的概率是平均值的两倍。但是中国的问题更大,中国的留守儿童比世界剩下国家儿童的总和还多。而且这种问题,很大程度是由自身引起--在这个国家内,迁徙收到了限制。

  China could transform the prospects of its left-behind children by abolishing hukou—a kind of internal passport that gives people and their children subsidized schooling and health care, but only in the place where they are registered. There has been a modest easing of restrictions, allowing skilled workers to change hukou and unskilled ones to move to smaller cities. But far more radical reforms are needed so that migrant laborers in the big cities benefit, too. China’s government should also give those living in the countryside the same property rights as urban residents. This would allow them to sell their homes, and thus help more of them to move to cities with enough cash to settle with their families.

  废除户口政策,中国能够改善留守儿童状况的前景。户口政策,这是一种国家内部的护照,它给予人们和他们的子女入学以及医疗保险补贴,但只限于这些人出生登记的地方。现在,这种限制正在减轻,例如能够使得技术和无技术工人将户口转移到小城镇。但是更根本的改革仍然需要,以便让大城市的劳动移民们获得好处。中国政府同样应给予乡镇居民和城市居民同等的财产权利,使前者能够出售房屋,从而获得到城市与家人定居的足够资金。

  Stop the self-harm 停止伤害自己

  More could also be done to help the most vulnerable children. Numerous recent cases have come to “light of sexual abuse of left-behind children in rural schools, suggesting that teachers are failing them, or worse.” In a country with almost no child-welfare system, the government is training “barefoot social workers” to find children who have been not so much left behind as abandoned. But this programme is to reach only 250,000 children, which hardly scratches the surface.

  还可以做更多事情去帮助这些最易受伤害的孩子们。最近,大量的案例曝光了“乡村留守儿童的性侵犯,他们的老师正在使他们过的更糟”。在一个几乎没有儿童福利的国家,政府正在培训“赤脚社工”来找到那些与其说是留守不如说是被遗弃的孩子。然而这个计划只能惠及250000孩子,几乎微不足道。

  Companies that employ migrant workers could also contribute by, for example, making it easier for parents to phone their children during workinghours or even setting up schools on site. At a time when many factoriesstruggle to find workers, helping their families makes business sense, too.

  那些雇佣利民劳工的公司同样献出一份力量。例如,那些公司创造便利,使得家长们在工作时间能更方便的和孩子电话联系,甚至会在企业内部设立学校。很多工厂费力的寻找工人,帮助他们的家庭同样能使企业成功。

  As China becomes richer it is producing a disturbed, and perhaps disturbing, generation. Some social dislocation may be the cost of wild growth and mass movement from farms to factories. But China should at least stop the self-harm.

  中国变的越来越富有,而它却产生着不安的下一代人。一些社会的混乱也许是经济粗暴生长和从农产到工厂这种巨大运动的代价。但是,中国应当至少停止自己伤害自己。


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