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Migrant children receive after-school care in containers

(Xinhua)

13:28, November 11, 2011

BEIJING, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- As China's remarkable export expansion loses altitude, containers once hoisted around busy ports have found an additional use.

In a northeast Beijing suburb, five colorful freight containers have been converted into classrooms to accommodate after-school care for children of migrant workers.

Each weekday at 4:00 p.m., about 100 pupils from schools in the area hurry into these renovated containers to do their homework. After a salvo of noise and excitement, they quiet down and bury themselves in their exercise books, aided by volunteers.

The containers are located in Heiqiao Village, a dilapidated community surrounded by a railroad track used to test China's high-speed trains.

Unlike the nearby high-rise cityscape, Heiqiao has become a forgotten place, isolated by the railroad surrounding it. But a large number of migrant workers still crowd into the area since rents are relatively low.

However, having no suitable place for their children to do homework has caused much anxiety for migrant worker parents who barely have time to take care of their children.

In recent months, the demolition of a dozen temporary schools for migrant children has already raised much concern among the public. Some of the schools were closed down because they didn't meet academic or construction standards. More than a few were closed because the land was pegged for other purposes.

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