03/08/2018, 13.39

China’s 'ice boy’ forced out of new school after a week

The boy became famous because of a picture of him with frozen hair and eyebrows and swollen hands. The principal of a private school offered him free enrolment but backed off as a result of excessive scrutiny from the media and the authorities.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China’s ‘Ice Boy’ has had to leave his new private school only a week after being admitted.

Wang Fuman, eight, became famous after a photo of him with frozen hair and eyebrows (picture 2) and hands swollen by the cold went viral on social media. The day the picture was taken he walked 4.5 km from home to school with temperatures dipping to -9 ° C.

The boy was later enrolled for the free in the Xinhua private school in Zhaotong, in southwestern Yunnan province, after the headmaster learnt of his plight.

However, two days ago, the boy’s father, Wang Gangkui, was asked to pick him up and take him back to his state school.

“I’m illiterate and I don’t understand why this school has kicked us out,” Wang told the South China Morning Post.

Fuman was also bewildered, telling the paper that he liked his new school. The teachers were better; he lived there so did not have to walk a long way to get to school; and the food was better.

Xinhua School’s headmaster, who asked only to be identified by his surname Yang, told the Post that media attention and authorities’ scrutiny had become unbearable.

Yang said he still wanted to help the boy but preferred to do so in a low-profile manner. He gave Fuman’s father 15,000 yuan (US$ 2,340) before he left with his son.

The boy’s father said that he was not currently working, despite having accepted a better-paying job at a state-owned construction engineering firm in Zhaotong, an offer prompted by the publicity surrounding his son.

He quit his previous job in the provincial capital, Kunming, to take on the new job that promised wages of 200 yuan a day and which was closer to home, but the company has now told him that there is no work for him at the moment.

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