The last pupil of the forced out elementary school by Foxconn

The following is a translation.

You may heard of Foxconn (富士康). A long sequence of suicides of its employees forced it to raise wages significantly and to create new site in inner land of China. What is the effect of its move? This story was carry on Nanfang Weekend.

On this sport field, only a teacher and a student played badminton. Xiaoyue (晓月) refused to stand up.

In the village where Xiaoyue lives, Foxconn’s warehouse and dormitories are being built intensively.

Everyday, Xiaoyue walks in empty classroom.

Many villagers have moved out. Their houses are being wiped out. The old farmland is occupied by wild grass.

Xiaoyue is the last student of this hundred-year-old village elementary school of the village. On music class, she could sit by her teach, listening to her play.

Xiaoyue and her mother at home

In that week, the school held the last group flag ceremony. A few days after Mid-Autumn Festival, there were only five students left. After another two days, there is only Xiaoyue (晓月) left in the school.

Xiaoyue does not know how long she can stay in school. In the past two months, this ten year old girl has been the only student in Qingshui elementary school (清水小学) near Chengdu, Sichuan Province (四川成都).

The school, however, continues as usual.

Actually, the school had 161 students when the new school year started in September 2010. Xiaoyue is in grade 4. She had more than 20 classmates.

But, the school received order to move even when the welcome-back-to-school banner was still up on the classroom building. The school notified the parents of all students accordingly.

Within a month, students were transferred away by their parents. Finally, there left a single Xiaoyue on such a big campus .

What’s happening? A giant factory arrived.

“Everything comes all in a sudden.” the teachers at Qingshui elementary school said.

This sudden change is because of a company called FoxConn.

On October 16, 2009, FoxConn signed a “FoxConn production site project in Chengdu” contract. This Fortune 500 company decided to invest one billion U.S. dollars empire in Chengdu to build optical display and electronic information industry base, and form a scaled production chain of more than hundreds of billions dollars. It will count 13% of the total value of industrial production in Sichuan Province.

On July 25, 2010, this site starts its construction. Merely after two months, on September 30, The first phase 13 million square meters of production plants is put into operation.

At the same time, besides Foxconn next industrial base in Chengdu, one for Foxconn facilities, that can accommodate 300,000 people in the “New West District – Pi County Metro ” (高新西区-郫县新城”) also began planning and construction.

As the largest investment projects in Sichuan Province, Foxconn’s Chengdu industrial base is classified as Chengdu’s and Sichuan Province’s “Project. Number 1”. From Sichuan province to Chengdu city, to Pi county, “Project Number 1” offices were all set up to promote the project.

In mid August, villagers of Deyuan town of Pi county (郫县德源镇) saw the government’s demolition notice and Publicity vehicle. 14 villages in about two million acres of land of 15 square kilometers were set as the residence zone of Foxconn. More than ten thousand households of villagers were facing demolition. Deyuan town government set up 14 working groups stationed in the village to exercise the implementation of the demolition. They measured the land and houses at the fastest speed and then negotiate compensation with villagers according to the rules in government document.

All carried out in the low-key. Only the day when plant put into operation for the first time, the local media made a brief report.

There is no fierce resistance. Faing “Project Number 1” of provincial and municipal governments, most villagers chose to cooperate. “Relocatees, demolition Rich”, the alike mantra were everywhere. With a view of future urban life, people moved out hastily after signing the agreement on compensation. Pending the construction of replacement housing, they need helps from relatives and friends to rent accommodation. Sudden increase in rental demand stimulate rent skyrocketed in the surrounding towns of Deyuan.

Nineteen teachers teach one student.

The relocation villagers in Qingshui town also transferred their children out of elementary school. Ten years old Xiaoyue clearly remembers the final student number changes.

September 22 is the Mid-Autumn Festival Day. There were 15 students. During that week, the school held the last flag ceremony. Few days after the Mid-Autumn Festival Day, there were 5 students left. After two more days, there was only one student Xiaoyue left. With Xiaoyue are school principal Liu Cunhua (刘存华) and 19 teachers. “We claimed that we would continue teaching as long as there were one pupil. We didn’t expect that there was truly one student left.” said teacher Zhu Suying (朱素英).

This is a small village with more than a century of history. Students came from the nearby villages. At peak time, there were eight hundred students. Along with the pace of urbanization in Chengdu, the surrounding villages have been disappearing. The number of students at Qingshui elementary school is decreasing. There could be a single class for a grade level.

Now Foxconn arrived. The whole school has only Xiaoyue. Seeing Xiaoyue’s leaving is the end of the life of this small village school.

Xiaoyue found that the teachers look at her eyes to “become especially tender. ” since she became the only one.

Class lectures look more like one to one tutoring classes. After the normal salute, the teachers are no longer standing at front, but rather to sit down Xiaoyue side by side. “the classroom is too quiet and outside is too noisy. She will not hear us. ” a teacher explained.

After school, Xiaoyue has to get teachers to chat, to play volleyball with PE teacher, or go to music room to play piano — . music teacher Qian Yang (钱阳) made an exception to open the music room which is usually closed. The whole school seems to have become Xiaoyue’s personal “amusement park”. “Make her feel that someone is with her, she is not alone. ” classroom teacher Chen Li (陈莉) said.

“We don’t have better means to bargain.”

During the morning reading self-study course that day, having heard the only one sound of her own in the classroom, Xiaoyue could not help crying.

Next time when she smiled was two days later when teacher Chen Li talked about Mr. Goose took a walk while a dog stole its food. Xiaoyue smiled.

She remembered her dogs. She adopted three dogs. The one that loved her most was the one she called “Little Tiger”. To her sadness, her grandma sent it to someone else since they are expecting to move. But “LIttle Tiger” is “too ugly” that no one wants to have it. So, “Little Tiger” becomes a homeless dog. “The dog is poorer than people, Xiaoyue repeated many times.

All her friends have gone to suburban area and Xiaoyue is looking forward to transfer too. “Even though the city is noisy, I can live in a new house.” she said.

I saw her again on November 20 at Pi County Hospital. Few days ago, her father was hit by an engineering Crane that ran to the road in a sudden while he was biking home after work at midnight. Although he was hurt, his life was saved.

The reason that Xiaoyue has not been transferred away is because her family has not reached a deal with demolition working group. People who know the story said that the situation that Xiaoyue’s family is facing is “more complicated” and so is arranged to be set last.

One of the reason is that Xiaoyue has a younger brother who is not allowed to be registered as resident because his birth is not approved by government. Second reason is that Xiaoyue’s father came from another place and hence does not have a residence at this place. Therefore, he is not qualified to be compensated. (Note: In China, there is a hukou system. Everyone must registered to one place. China has a one-family-one-child policy. Second child of a family may not be able to go to school.)

The Xiaoyue’s mother claims that she will not transfer Xiaoyue away before a deal is reached for compensation. “Demolition move is a life-time big event. We don’t have better means to bargain.” So, Xiaoyue has to stay solely and remains in the school.

During an essay class, Xiaoyue wrote a legent in which she made all her former classmates to become little animals. In the legent, forest disappeared. All the animals left. It left the little rabbit crying herself.


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2 Responses to “The last pupil of the forced out elementary school by Foxconn”

  1. Chinese police rescue mentally disabled workers enslaved by factory boss | Autism Experts Blog Says:

    […] The final student of a forced out facile propagandize by Foxconn […]

  2. The last pupil of the forced out elementary school by Foxconn … « Education Says:

    […] Read more from the original source: The last pupil of the forced out elementary school by Foxconn … […]

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