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Dance School License Suspended
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The educational authority in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, yesterday suspended the license of a dancing school that sent 22 underage students to work as bar girls at nightclubs in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province and took part of their wages.


The Guilin Dance Vocational School violated state rules on internship programs, had a bad social impact and offended the minors' legal rights, the city's Educational Bureau said in a statement yesterday.


The bureau prohibits the school from recruiting more students until rectification satisfies the bureau, the statement said. Authorities also ordered the school to return the students' wages.


And the school is required to "properly take care of" the current 170-odd students. This includes offering necessary help in transferring them to other educational institutes, said the statement.


Before the girls left for Hangzhou in early October, when they finished six months' study, the school told their parents they’d work as interns at legal entertainment venues and be paid a monthly 750 yuan in the first two months. The pay would then rise to 1,200 yuan. Most of the girls came from poor villages near Guilin and were not able to pay their tuition.


The school told the girls when seeing them off at the railway station in Guilin that they should tell only good things to their families on the phone after they arrived in Hangzhou. Anyone unhappy should confide to the school, a teacher told them.


As part of the internship, the girls entertained male clients during dinner parties. This included them drinking alcohol at nightclubs and bars. The clients felt free to fumble the girls' bodies and embrace them.


For each night the girls worked the entertainment venue would pay 100 yuan. An art performance company in Hangzhou that signed a contract with their school would keep 50 yuan. The girl and school would take an equal share of the balance.


The girl would be fined 50 yuan for each night she didn't work. The art performance company paid 1,500 yuan to the school for each girl it sent to Hangzhou. Guo Guisheng, board chairman of the dancing school, said he'd never met the firm's head or visited the company before signing the contract.


(Shanghai Daily January 26, 2007)

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