China's boarding schools get popular

China's boarding schools get popular
Students at a boarding school in Guangzhou are ready for lunch. More parents are sending their children to boarding schools for convenience, lack of satisfactory public schools or plans to send the children overseas in the future.

CHINA - An increasing number of students are now attending boarding schools.

More than 5,000 students applied for Guangzhou Tianhe Foreign Languages School from across the province in 2012 and more than 8,000 applied for it last year, said a staff member with the recruitment office who refused to be named.

The father of a third-year junior high school girl surnamed Wang said he and his wife chose the Affiliated Tianhe School of Guangdong Experimental Middle School because their daughter would have otherwise been assigned to a poorly run junior high school. She boards during the week and returns home during the weekends.

"She is fine with boarding and got used to the environment pretty soon," he said.

All the students wear a uniform on campus, the only difference in their outfits being their shoes. No cellphones are allowed, and the students' daily spending is restricted to a limit set in their purchasing cards.

Wang gave the school thumbs up for its rather strict management of students, which requires, for example, that quilts be neatly folded and shoes properly placed, with no sodas sold on the campus.

Wang said, he hopes his daughter will become more independent by going to a boarding school.

The main reasons children are sent to boarding schools is because their parents are too busy to look after them, or the children are too naughty and the parents want the schools to provide a disciplined environment to correct their behavior, or they want their children to receive high-end education in a foreign language school or an international class, said Ge Xinbin, deputy dean of the College of Education Science of South China Normal University.

"I take business trips sometimes and my wife often takes business trips and my mother returned to her hometown, so we opted for a boarding school," said a father surnamed Zhang. His daughter goes to a public senior high school with boarding facilities during the week.

However, the girl disliked living on campus at first because of the poor food and sometimes humid environment.

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