"those who have completed elementary education"

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).



Educational stages in China
Typical AgeEducationLevelsCompulsory
18-22University or collegeVariesNo
15-18Senior high school (middle school)orVocational schoolGrades 10-12No
12-14Junior middle schoolGrades 7-9Yes
6-11Primary schoolGrades 1-6Yes