Thursday, October 05, 2006

Beijing shutters schools for migrant kids

Will Beijing vow to protect the migrants who are working so hard to transform the City for the 2008 Olympics?

Zhou Jidong, head of Beijing's legal department, said Sept. 27. "The rights of migrant workers should be protected. It's important to recognize their contribution to Beijing."

But the recent crackdown on unregistered schools points to the contrary: the migrants have no rights as non-residents and are denied free education. Sadly enough, it doesn't look like Beijing will live up to its promise.

The Christian Science Monitor has the scoop:

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.

“Hundreds of private schools have sprung up in migrant communities, flourishing in the shadow of the public school system. In recent months, though, a wave of closures has left parents struggling to find new places. The timing of the move has angered educators, divided families, and sparked accusations that Beijing wants to deter migrants from staying through the Olympics as part of an image makeover.” (more)

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