Northeast China's Jiangsu Province allocated 1.1 billion yuan (US$0.15 billion) last year for left-behind children in rural areas and needy migrant children, exempting their tuition fees and extras. The fund also provides subsistence subsidies of no less than 300 yuan every year for indigent boarding students among the left-behind and migrant children, ensuring that each child can receive an education.
The provincial finance department purchased school liability insurance as a form of life insurance for each left-behind and migrant child in primary and junior high school, with the total sum and the highest compensation fee reaching 30 million yuan and 300 thousand yuan, respectively.
Boarding school creates a warm home for children
December 11, 5:45 PM, lines of pupils, led by the teacher, were entering the dining hall happily in Caiji Experimental Primary School. There are 234 left-behind children, whose parents went out of town to work, living in this boarding school. After lunch, they can attend various classes based on their interests. They chat with their parents via online video when feeling homesick, and pour out their worries to teachers when feeling puzzled. During vacations, they play sports, study and appreciate art at summer camps organized by the school.
By boarding in school, the left-behind children acquire a humane lifestyle and study guidance. This method deftly handles the educational problems of those left-behind and relieves migrant workers of their family worries.
Jiangsu Province has set goals of creating ways for children to call their parents, formed several interesting groups for these children, made plans to build a library, established a psychological consulting office, and employed a group of psychologists.
The Province has thoroughly carried out the system of regular registration for the left-behind children and regularized the boarding school standard. Just in Suqian City alone, there are 112 primary schools conforming to the standard, accounting for 86.62 percent of all the boarding schools. Currently, almost 60 thousand left-behind children board in these kinds of schools.
Based on different situations, many counties in Jiangsu Province are taking advantage of available resources to build warm homes for children. The Goudun Experimental Primary School in Funing County established a childcare center for the left-behind children, and chose expert staff and instructors for them. Besides attending classes, these children live at the center and do other activities. The Guannan County built kindergartens in every village, so as to relieve shortages in rural areas.
Social love and care warm solitary hearts of left-behind children
There is a unique alleyway at Yanhe Town, Jianhu County. Various drawings and paintings hang on the walls of the alleyway, aiming to draw attention to the spiritual civilization in rural areas. A small yet clean yard stands at the end of the alleyway. Not only the home of Ji Wansen, a retired teacher, this house is also a paradise for nearby left-behind children. During vacations, these children come here to play chess, read books, draw pictures and chat with Ji. The small yard is full of laughter and cheer.
The left-behind children can still feel the love and care out of school. In northern part of Jiangsu Province, members of the Communist Party of China and the Communist Youth League, senior people (including retired senior cadres, senior veterans, senior experts, senior teachers and senior models), and other enthusiastic personnel pair up with the left-behind children. They take on the responsibility of parents, brothers, sisters, and after-school activities counselors to care and cherish these left-behind children.
In Xuzhou City, more than 5,000 female Party members and teachers have become the "mothers" of the left-behind children, while 11,977 non-left-behind children pair with the left-behind children as growing friends. In Lianshui County, 84 college-graduate village officials act as the after-class activities counselors for the left-behind children and help them to build mutual aid learning groups. Jianhu County advises the undergraduates to be the "brothers" and "sisters" of the left-behind children, so every child can claim a role model. Zhengzhou, the board chairman of the Renzhou Cement Co., Ltd, in Funing County, contributes 100 thousand yuan every year for 100 rural left-behind girls to go to school, and has earned the title: "love ambassador".
Making a concerted effort to care left-behind children
This year, the Jiangsu Provincial Women Federation organized 2,600 poor children in both rural and urban areas to celebrate the International Children's Day at Xuanwu Lake on June 1. Cities like Lian Yungang, Yancheng and Huaian initiated the "family journey" activity, sending part of the left-behind children to Hangzhou, Suzhou, Qingdao and Beijing to reunite with their parents.
Related departments fully integrate present resources, delivering warm-hearted care to the left-behind children.
Lian Yungang City established the "love bookstore" as well as "love fund" at the new rural areas service center. Some senior instructors set up "grandparent generation school" to teach the grandparent generation how to educate children. Yancheng City opened a rural e-learning system for the left-behind children. Since this July, there have been 32,500 left-behind children chatting with their parents via telephone and online video. Huaian City comprehensively built "after-school guidance" stations at places for Party members' activities. 1,208 left-behind children enjoy outstanding after-school educational resources.
(China Development Gateway by Sun Wan January 10, 2008)