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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Charity school grabbed by village authorities in Shaanxi

(Xinhua)

08:29, February 21, 2012

XI`AN, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Over 100 students in Shaanxi province have been kicked out of a primary school, built by local villagers and a Hong Kong charity, after village authorities gave the school to an automobile retailer on a 10-year lease.

The primary school was built in 2010 to replace the old one, but only two weeks after the pupils moved into Run Run Primary School they were ordered out and had to return to their previous classrooms, residents of Zhaocun village in the city of Weinan said Monday.

Village officials said they decided to lease the new school to an automobile retailer, according to Li Feng, a local villager.

According to the lease contract, the village administration will receive a total of 1.75 million yuan (280,000 U.S.dollars) from Weida Automobile Services.

The autobile retailer has transformed the classrooms into warehouses for vehicle components, as well as built repair workshops and car showrooms in the school's playground.

"The primary school was mainly funded by our compensation of land acquisition, but now, the kids are just not allowed to use the new classrooms," a villager named Li Dingzhu said, referring to the 1.3 million yuan taken from the villagers' compensation.

"We have been fooled by the village officials," Li added.

To build the new school, over 250,000 yuan was dished out by a charity of Hong Kong media mogul Run Run Shaw, whom the primary school was named after.

Officials of Zhaocun village not only abused Shaw's generosity, but also violated laws on public welfare donation, which forbids the application of donation to be changed without the donators' consent, said Shi Ying, deputy dean with the law school of Northwest University.

Li Wusheng, director with the village's supervision committee, argued that their decision was based on "the request of many parents," since the Run Run school was at the junction of railways and highways.

But Li Feng, a villager, said the students' safety were not in danger because they could walk to the new school via a short path that bypassed the heavy traffic.

The local social affairs bureau promised that the students would be back to Run Run school by March, but before that time, the kids still had to stay in their shoddy old classrooms.

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