Beijing shutters schools for migrant kids – Simon Montlake

The Christian Science Monitor reports on the closure of schools for the kids of migrant workers in Beijing:

Standing in the ruins of the school he founded seven years ago to educate the children of Beijing’s migrant workforce, Wang Yi seems at a loss for words. His feet crunch on pulverized concrete and nuggets of red brick, and the midday sun glints off a blue-tiled base where a flagpole once stood.

As principal of the New Millennium school, Mr. Wang oversaw the teaching of 430 gradeschoolers until the closure order came in July. Two months later, a demolition crew moved in. Wang still runs a kindergarten nearby, but is worried that it, too, could be shuttered amid a crackdown on unregistered schools in Beijing.

“If they close us down, the children have nowhere to go,” he says.

This refrain is echoing across the grittier parts of China’s capital, where millions of migrants have come in recent decades. Their labor sustains the vast construction that is transforming the city for the 2008 Olympics. But as nonresidents, they are denied access to services, including free education. [Full text]

October 7, 2006 8:35 PM
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