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Kids sent to study outside disaster zone
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Schools in some big cities have taken in students from earthquake-affected areas where classrooms were either utterly razed or rendered structurally unsound.

Five hundred primary school students from Anxian county of Mianyang, one of the areas hardest hit by the May 12 quake in Sichuan province, set off on a train from the provincial capital Chengdu bound for Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, on Thursday.

For eight months, the students will study in nine schools in Kunming, about 1,000 km south of Mianyang.

To help the children cope with this difficult period, the Yunnan branch of the All-China Women's Federation, local education authorities and the civil affairs department jointly launched a "show-love" project.

Yunnan's government will cover all study and living expenses for these students during their stay.

Primary and high schools in Chongqing municipality have received more than 500 students from Sichuan, Tan Kaiming, an official with the Chongqing anti-earthquake headquarters, said.

The host schools will also provide physical and psychological therapy for the students, Tan said.

Also, 200 elementary and middle school students from Sichuan are now studying in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, with waived tuition or accommodation fees, Guangzhou education bureau official He Yuhong said.

Students from earthquake-affected areas will enjoy free room and board if enrolled in colleges and universities in Guangdong, the provincial education department said.

On Thursday, 44 senior middle school students from Beichuan county, one of the most-devastated areas, toured the Great Wall under the arrangement of the All China Women's Federation and Beijing municipal government.

To help distract the students from the horror and sorrow of the disaster, the federation and Beijing government will also arrange visits to major Olympic venues, Tian'anmen Square and the China Science Museum in the coming days, the Beijing News reported.

And five students from Jiangyou, Sichuan, are now studying at Beijing No 105 Middle School. The five girls arrived in Beijing on Wednesday.

The grandmother of Jiang Yichen, one of the girls, contacted Beijing No 105 Middle School to arrange for their studies in the capital.

"I was lazy about my studies before but having stayed in a tent for more than 10 days, it feels so good to sit in a classroom," 16-year-old Zhong Xuerui said.

Beijing 105 High School is not a boarding school, but the school's authorities arranged for the five students to live in a teachers' dormitory and bought them daily necessities, such as bowls, shampoo and toothpaste.

In addition to waiving their tuitions and textbook fees, the school will also provide them psychological counseling.

"We just want to help students from earthquake-affected areas," deputy schoolmaster Zuo Weidong said.

The duration of their stays in Beijing will be determined by when classes resume in Jiangyou, he said.

(China Daily May 31, 2008)

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