site: HOME > > Economic > News > Nation
Beijing Migrant Schools Closed
Summary:Summer is here, which means more closures of unofficial schools for migrant workers' children - a trend that's left only 30 such schools, down from a peak of 150

By Liu Jinsong (
Nation, page 12
Issue 579, July 23, 2012
Translated by Yiu Tsz Man
Original article: [Chinese]

This is an extended abstract of a story from this week's edition of The Economic Observer, for more highlights from the EO print edition, click here.

Tongxin Experimental School (同心实验学校), hereinafter referred to as Tongxin, a school in a remote corner of Beijing's Chaoyang District that caters to the children of migrant workers, was recently shut down by the county government.

Tongxin isn’t alone. Three other migrant schools in Chaoyang Distict were also shut down this year in addition to the 24 closed last year. There are now only about 30 schools left in the city catering to migrant children, down from a peak of 150.

Tongxin has educated more than 6,300 migrant children since it opened in 2005. Normally it costs at least 800 yuan per year to attend officially sanctioned schools, while schools like Tongxin only charge 300 yuan. According to Sun Heng (孙恒), one of the founders of Tongxin, the school has gradually been recognized by the community and had gained support from businesses and other institutions.

However, Tongxin and three other migrant schools received a closure notice from the Jinzhan County Education and Health Division (金盏乡教育卫生科) in June this year claiming that there were serious safety, fire, electrical and health risks in the schools. In addition, they hadn’t obtained the official education license through official procedures.  

The headmaster of Tongxin, Shen Jinhua (沈金花), has been ordered not to appeal to higher authorities or talk to the media about the closure.

According to the headmaster of another migrant school in Chaoyang District, safety risks are just an excuse for the closures. According to Beijing Youth Daily, Chaoyang District plans to close all private schools not licensed through the local government by 2014.

The local government promises that all students will be placed in other public or private schools after their school is closed. However, those schools all require parents submit documents like their ID card, temporary living certificate and employment certificate. Most migrants have difficulty providing all these documents. Even if they do have all the required documents, the continuous closures have driven up school fees at the alternative public and private schools beyond what they can afford. Faced with these obstacles, most migrants are left with no choice but to send their children back to their home town.

This article was edited by Eric Fish


Comments(The views posted belong to the commentator, not representative of the EO)

username: Quick log-in

EO Digital Products

Multimedia & Interactive