Migrant parents protest over fate of school

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, September 15, 2010
Adjust font size:

More than 100 angry parents encircled a school for migrant children on Monday to demand a refund in tuition fees or a transfer to another school for their children after a village committee said the institution must be closed before Sept 19.

Jinghua primary school in Cuigezhuang town, Chaoyang district, began accepting students' registrations on Aug 20 and the parents of around 400 students paid 700 yuan each for one semester of tuition. But two weeks after term started, the building's landlord posted a notice saying the school was set to be demolished in mid-September under orders of the village committee.

On Aug 29, a notice from the Beigao village committee stuck to the school's front gate said electricity and water supplies would be cut on Sept 19 before the school is razed.

Around a dozen parents gathered inside the school on Monday at 7 am asking to speak to the principal of the school about the situation.

The tension escalated when other parents heard what was going on and also headed to the school. Four police officers arrived by noon seeking to restore order but parents refused to leave.

Kang Wei, the father of a student in the second year of primary school, said the school's management must have known the building was about to be demolished when the fees were collected from parents.

He said he contacted the nearby Jinzhan School but classes there had started two weeks earlier and the school would not accept additional students.

"So, if the school is closed, my child will be stranded with no school to go to," he said. "They tricked our money out of us and wasted our time."

Li Junshan, a relative of the principal who claimed to be a spokesperson for Jinghua primary school, promised parents that the school will not be torn down this semester, saying he had filed a petition with the village committee asking for a postponement.

"With hundreds of students studying here, I don't think the village committee will close it down," he told parents.

By around 6 pm, though, with many parents still unconvinced about the school's future, Li agreed to return 500 yuan out of the 700 yuan each parent had paid. "If you take the money, your children need not come to school tomorrow."

A staff worker with Beigao village committee confirmed that the school was scheduled to be demolished but said the committee will take into consideration the school's situation and the petition. He also promised that a representative of the committee will be designated to deal with the matter. "We will try our best to transfer students to other schools," he added.

It is not the first time the community has dealt with such a situation. More than 4,000 children of migrant workers in the same village were left scrambling when five primary schools and seven kindergartens were demolished in February.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter