Field studies - of a sort

15th December 2006 at 00:00
It is hard to be a pupil in rural China. Harder still if your teachers decide that sending you for a spell of labour on a cotton farm might be profitable for them. Even tougher, if you are chosen to work in a nightclub as a teenage hostess.

Authorities in the south-eastern Guangxi Zhuang district are investigating a school that sent pupils, some only 14, on "internships" to bars in the lake resort of Hangzhou near Shanghai.

The girls, who believed they had enrolled at a school specialising in dance, were required to drink with strangers and lie about their age. For this they earned 100 yuan per night, with half going to an agent and 25 yuan going to the school.

A better rate at least than the 0.8 yuan paid per kilo of cotton picked by 40,000 pupils in the north-western county of Minqin. Chinese media reports say the students had been forced to labour 8 to 12 hours a day for more than 10 days each cotton season since 2003 "to toughen them up a bit, and teach valuable skills".

Education leaders for the county have all been sacked. Meanwhile, the distressed pupils from Guangxi have been told they can put away their evening frocks and return to more conventional studies

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now