Jiangsu primary school fences off migrant worker students

By Xu Hailin Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/27 22:48:39

A primary school in East China's Jiangsu Province is at the center of controversy for placing a steel fence between local students and children of migrant workers who were allowed to study in the school, after they were forced out of another school.

The Qinxi Experimental Primary School in Suzhou, Jiangsu will offer vacant classrooms to students of Lixin Primary School starting this semester, China National Radio (CNR) reported on Saturday.

Lixin students were forced to move out of their campus because the school could not afford the rent. Education authorities in Gusu district, Suzhou announced on August 16 that the 800 students of Lixin would be reallocated to Qinxi, which is "relatively close" to Lixin and has vacant classrooms.

Qinxi's principal, Jiang Lijun, said the fence is meant to create space for two schools so that the students from the two schools "won't affect each other," according to the CNR report.

The fence is a temporary measure, and the school will maintain communication with parents and make reasonable arrangements, Jiang told news site thepaper.cn.

The incident sparked discussions online as netizens regard the fence as a form of discrimination against children of migrant workers. "The fence separates people based on class," Weibo user "dashengad" said.

The two schools did not reply interview requests from the Global Times.

A parent surnamed Li, whose child is studying at Qinxi, told the Global Times on Monday that the parents were not informed about the resettlement or aware of the fence, which was placed one day after parents met at school on August 20.

"We are concerned about our children's safety," Li said.

"Some Lixin students are delinquent as they have been spotted carrying small iron bars and shout in the bus on the way to school," he said.

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