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School shutdown couldn't be good-willed

By Li Hong (People's Daily Online)

14:31, August 31, 2011

By tearing down 24 primary schools and more than 70 kindergartens attended by poor children with no official urban residence permits, or "Hukou"in Chinese, the Beijing municipal government has done something that is too outrageous and paranoid, if not illicit.

The city authorities said the forceful shutdown or demolition of mostly makeshift schools in suburban Beijing was "humane and good-willed", because safety measures there were rare or inadequate. In April this year, a fire engulfed a three-storey residence in southern Beijing and a dozen migrant workers were killed or seriously wounded in the blaze.

It sounds righteous to pull down those precarious school walls and roofs for the city has taken care of the students and children's safety. However, Beijing has failed to choreograph plans to resettle more than 14,000 who will have no school rooms to attend as the autumn semester begins in September.

When asked by reporters, a local government's official in charge of education murmured, saying they are contemplating measures to seek rooms for the students and children who have moved in to the city together with their hard-working parents. The answer is hardly satisfactory, smacking of dereliction of public duty, because so many children cannot find a school in Beijing, the capital.

Prior to ordering bulldozers and demolishing the schools and kindergartens which they determined as unsafe and unregistered -- meaning illegal, the city authorities should consult with the children and their parents, and earmark sufficient funds and land to enable the children a place called school.

China's nine-year compulsory education law rules that all the children shall have access to free education from grade 1 to 9. The 14,000 migrant students could make a case with the city government for failing to providing them due education, though they are supposed to study at their rural hometowns.

It is heart-wrenching to see the migrant children lose their classrooms and languish in distress. Their predicament contrasts sharply with the urban counterparts who are often chauffeured in limousines to schools of modernity. It is a grotesque abdication of responsibility on the part of the city government.

The migrant workers are protesting against school shutdown, for they are concerned with their children's future opportunities if education is stripped. Driving the poor workers onto the ropes is immoral and dangerous.

China's Central Government should quicken its pace of reforming the decades-old urban and rural "Hukou" residence system, which was meted out in Chairman Mao Zedong's time and excessively discriminatory towards the rural residents.

The benefits attached to the urban "Hukou" holder – including retirement pensions, nearly free medical care and children's rights to attend urban schools – should be extended to the rural residents, because all Chinese nationals, wherever they are born and whoever they are born to, are entitled to the same and equal treatment.

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  1. Name

Wang chenyi at 2011-09-09175.142.126.*
It"s a mistake for a city given the right to host the Olmpics to treat migrant workers like pests!Beijing is the laughing stock in the world!
Shendu at 2011-09-06137.166.4.*
Beijing, capital of China, don't set up negative example!!!
Larrydu at 2011-09-0460.53.161.*
My earlier posting did appear here.But here it is again because I like this site:
It was NOT discriminatory during Chairman Mao’s time because the policy then was to make the rural areas self-sufficient not only agriculturally, but also industrially. People’s communes not only took care of basic education for rural folks, but also healthcare. Farmers also learned and produced household goods locally. Thus there was no need for mass migration to the towns, and no need for expensive and pollutive transportation systems. The money saved not only allowed New China to focus on national defense, but also resulted in a steadily improving lifestyle that raised life expectancy from 35 years pre-1949 to over 65 years by the 1970s.
The slow and steady progress in people’s livelihood, national defense, and a clean environment with fresh air, clean rivers, blue skies, together with a sense of empowerment of the rural people, showed to the world that a great governance is possible.
The New China today is viewed with praise by the West. Chinese writers continue to boast of their rise and the West knew that New China has never been so powerful in its 60-year history.
RE: Canada at 2011-09-03134.215.249.*
NATO has no interest, ability, or legal means in occupying or invading China. Where did you get that rubbish idea?It is too bad that not all Chinese people are born with the same benefits. I would hope that this changes in the future and makes China an even better country.
Larrydu at 2011-09-0360.51.48.*
>rural "Hukou" residence system, s time and excessively discriminatory towards the rural residents.]It was NOT discriminatory during Chairman Mao"s time because the policy then was to make the rural areas self-sufficient not only agriculturally, but also industrially. People"s communes not only took care of basic education for rural folks, but also healthcare. Farmers also learned and produced household goods locally. Thus there was no need for mass migration to the towns, and no need for expensive and pollutive transportation systems. The money saved not only allowed New China to focus on national defense, but also resulted in a steadily improving lifestyle that raised life expectancy from 35 years pre-1949 to over 65 years by the 1970s. The slow and steady progress in people"s livelihood, national defense, and a clean environment with fresh air, clean rivers, blue skies, together with a sense of empowerment of the rural people, showed to the world that an alternative system of governance was possible. This was deemed to be a threat to the West. Sad to say, greedy and selfish people in China supported such attacks in order to produce an unequal, polluted, and divisive China. The New China today is viewed with contempt by the West, which for the first time conducted military drills with nuclear aircraft carriers in the Yellow Sea. Even small nations in Southeast Asia are contemptuous of China"s sovereignty of the Xisha and Nansha islands. Chinese writers continue to boast of their "rise"
  

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