The Little Seamstress is referring to Mao's system of classifying people according to their intellect. Mao's hatred of intellectuals led him to banish "city youth" to the countryside to be re-educated. Usually one had to be enrolled in a middle school to qualify as "city youth" and be sent for re-education in the countryside.
The Little Seamstress has only finished elementary school (the equivalent of primary school in the table below).
|18-22||University or college||Varies||No|
|15-18||Senior high school (middle school)orVocational school||Grades 10-12||No|
|12-14||Junior middle school||Grades 7-9||Yes|
|6-11||Primary school||Grades 1-6||Yes|