Yao Weijian, a teacher from
Migrant children who are not resident are by and large denied the right to attend public schools and health care.
School founder and parents have turned to
“Students just have bread to eat as the new school doesn't even have a canteen. Parents are worried about the situation, but it would be worse to send them back to their home towns or leave them to wander the streets,” one teacher said.
The school was shut down on Monday when some 300 police officers raided the building, interrupted lessons, and ordered children onto buses to be taken to another location.
One witness told the South China Morning Post that some teachers and parents were assaulted, while reporters from state media who tried to conduct interviews and take photos were detained. The authorities have denied the allegations, saying there was no violence.
District education officials started calling for the closure of the school last month, claiming it was not approved by the government and posed a safety threat to students. It also claimed that teachers were not qualified.
But Zhen Maohui, the school's education affairs director, said the local government wanted the land for redevelopment. “The district government wants to make it more convenient for the property developer,” he said.
The Putuo district government plans in fact to demolish a nearby chemical plant and, eventually, the school building. Construction workers have already moved into some classrooms.
Mr Zhen said he was beaten by unidentified thugs last month when he tried to stop people distributing leaflets asking students to leave the school.
Ahead of the 2008 Olympics, the authorities want to eliminate shanty towns and any signs of migrants’ presence that might detract from
Last year for instance,
In December the central authorities announced that it would abolish school fees for 150 million students in rural areas in an attempt to bridge the economic gap between the poor rural regions of the interior and the rich coastal areas. However, this step does not include the children of millions of migrant farm workers. (PB)