We told you a few days ago about a migrants school that was closed down. The AP has a report on it now, which covers most of the basic facts. However, earlier today we came across this Chinese article which has information not included in the English reports thus far:
On December 19, six or seven unidentified people entered the school and passed out flyers indicating that the school had to be closed down. Arguments ensued between these people and certain teachers and parents.
On December 28, about 60 people armed with clubs and bricklayer’s cleavers (瓦刀）entered the school and passed out more flyers. Zhen Maohui, the director of education there, attempted to stop them and was attacked and then injured in the head, neck, and body. More threats were made.
This set the stage for the January 5th events, where 300 policemen effectively closed down the school and bussed the kids to their new school. School staff were questioned by the police. One report from the Chinese media says that the school was “unsafe” and that was the reason why it was closed. However, in the Chinese report we read this:
Principal Yao Weijian didn’t agree, saying that none of the migrant schools in Shanghai have permits, and Jianying school hadn’t done anything that was in violation of the law. For the last 10 years, Jianying’s safety conditions have been inspected, and had even been lauded as a “advanced safety work-unit.” So how could it suddenly have safety issues?
Furthermore, the Chinese reports state that tables, books and other school stuff was moved out and the school emptied—yet workers from a nearby factory have moved in there and made their classrooms into a “kitchen” and recreational room, where they play cards. Something seems fishy here. If you want to see how the Chinese media is trying to spin the issue and make it seem as if the government merely has the interests of the migrants’ kids at heart, check out this link. The contrasts with the quotes from parents in the Chinese media reports couldn’t be more stark.
The Chinese reports also highlight another important issue: even though the school is in Shanghai, they use Anhui province materials, because the kids don’t have Shanghai hukous (resident permits), which means that they have to return to their hometowns when they eventually apply for university. If Jianying gets shut down, they are faced with the choice of attending a Shanghai school, using Shanghai textbooks, and paying extra fees because they have the wrong hukou permits—or going back to their hometowns. And many kids don’t want that, for various reasons. Their parents are here, working in Shanghai. They are used to being here. The end of the semester is approaching and such disruptions and uncertainty are the last thing that people need.
Also in Shanghaiist
Migrants’ School Forcibly Closed
Photo from news.163.com.