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Rural school students receive donations after Wen's visit

By Huang Beibei (People's Daily Online)

10:02, July 05, 2012

Students from a primary boarding school in Shuangxi Township of Guzhang County carry donations from Hunan Satellite TV Station back to school. (People's Daily Online/ Huang Beibei)

Beijing, July 5 (people's Daily Online)-The story of a Chinese primary school boy "challenging" Premier Wen Jiabao who offered him a pink schoolbag has become a favorite among Chinese. One month after Wen's visit, students at a boarding school which Wen also visited during that tour received donations from Hunan Satellite TV Station on June 26, 2012. People's Daily Online captured their smiling faces.

In late May this year, Premier Wen Jiabao paid a visit to a primary boarding school in Shuangxi Township of Guzhang County during an inspection tour on poverty-reduction of the Wuling mountainous area in central China's Hunan province.

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.

There are 355 students in the primary school visited by Wen, and 280 of them are "left-behind" children — children whose parents are away from home most of the year working in coastal cities — said Liang Huicong, the principal of the school.

Most of the left-behind children at the school are being raised by their grandparents, and many of them are withdrawn, lonely and miss their parents, Liang said.

Some of the students said that they could not help crying when talking with their parents on the phone.

The teachers at the school are trying to help them become more sociable, and have had some success with many of the children, the principal said.

During his visit, Wen said that migrant workers have made great contributions to boosting economic growth, and the left-behind children will be well taken care of in their parents' absence.

Given that some rural schools have been merged and many children have a long walk to school, Wen said that local authorities should establish new or reopen some old ones so that students won't waste so much time on getting to school and back.

Local authorities should take students' safety into consideration when building new schools, Wen added.

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