Chinese school revokes 'house size' clause for students amid criticism - Kogonuso

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Dec 7, 2018

Chinese school revokes 'house size' clause for students amid criticism

An elementary school in Shenzhen was under fire for a decision to establish admission standards based on the size of student homes, and have revoked the terms amid criticism, according to Chinese state media.

Beijing Youth Daily reported Friday Shenzhen Luoling Foreign Language Experimental School had recently announced new admissions criteria on its website.

According to the public notice, students who live in homes less than 320 square feet were required to have lived in the residence for at least six years to be qualified for entry.

But the criteria comes with other requirements -- the candidate's family must also not be the owner of a bigger house in the city, a clause that appears to be targeting households that move to the neighborhood for schooling.

The school lists other stipulations: Families living in homes that range from 320 to 540 square feet must have occupied their residence for four years, and for only a year if the home is greater than 540 square feet.

Chinese parents by law are required to send their children to school in the district where they reside, and the measures may be seeking to curb students eager to gain admission to Luoling.

The school said in a statement the measures are to "prevent" admitting students from families who buy real estate for the purpose of changing school districts.

Long-term residents who have lived in the district should be given priority, the school said.

Parents in Shenzhen balked at the idea of restricting admissions based on house size and years of residency, and say the policy contributes to unequal access to education. Under pressure, the school is walking back the policy, according to reports.

The Shenzhen school controversy comes at a time when more young Chinese say they are the victims of increasing social inequality.

Quartz reported Friday the Chinese character of the year is a term that is synonymous with being "dirt poor and ugly."

While young Chinese in 2018 represent the country's wealthiest generation, they have experienced inequality, cutthroat competition for jobs and have difficulty finding fulfilling work, according to the report.

"Society is paying more and more attention to status and wealth. Young people are under great pressure," a Chinese graduate student said.

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