|Parents protest at the gate of The Elementary School Affiliated to Renmin University of China in Haidian district Sunday. (Global Times/ Li Hao)|
Parents of students who attend a primary school in Haidian district gathered at the campus gates Monday morning to protest over the last-minute decision to move all grade five pupils to another school one kilometer away.
The parents, whose children attend The Elementary School Affiliated to Renmin University of China, said they are concerned over the safety and security of the new campus. The move involves 600 students in the grade, all around 10 years old.
"This [Monday] is the second day we've gathered here, and so far no agreement has been reached between us and the school," said one parent, surnamed Wang, whose son is in the fifth grade.
Many parents kept the students home Monday for the first full day of the new semester.
The school first informed parents on Friday by text message or phone call, said Wang. The message said that all fifth grade pupils were to be transferred to Yinyan campus about one kilometer away from the original campus.
"Why did the school inform us at the beginning of a new term when they could have told us earlier? We had no preparation," she said.
"Besides, the safety standard of the new campus is awful," Wang said.
The classrooms at Yinyan are smaller but have around 45 tables and seats squeezed in, blocking the back doors of each classroom.
"If there's a fire, how can the pupils escape?" she asked.
The parents are also concerned about the proximity of a construction site to the school. Zhang, another parent, said that the migrant workers who live in the building beside the playground could pose a danger.
"They could enter the campus via the windows of the building facing towards the playground," she said.
The school had promised an answer to parents by Sunday, said Zhang.