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Chinese premier visits rural "left behind" children (2)


08:14, May 31, 2012

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao gives a school bag to a child in the Maoping Primary School in Maoping Village, Morong Town of Guzhang County, central China's Hunan Province, May 25, 2012. During an inspection tour on poverty-reduction in the Wuling mountainous area in Hunan Province, Wen Jiabao visited children of the primary schools in the rural area to bid them greetings ahead of the International Children's Day, which falls on June 1. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

China's rapid industrialization has resulted in a swelling number of rural "left behind" children, or children whose parents have moved to urban areas to seek work. These children are often placed in the care of relatives or friends. Hunan is home to 140,000 such "left behind" children.

Wen acknowledged the contributions migrant workers have made toward boosting China's economic growth, reassuring them that their children will be well taken care of in their absence.

Wen also visited a small village school, where just two teachers instruct a total of 30 students. Wen said that although the school is small, it should be managed as well as any other school, calling for more efforts to improve the quality of schools in remote areas.

Local authorities should take students' safety while traveling into consideration when building new schools, Wen said, adding that efforts should be made to establish more schools or reopen previously closed schools in order to reduce commuting times for rural students.

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