Schools in China’s ethnic Tibetan area resume classes

March 24th, 2008 - 9:11 pm ICT by admin  

ABA (China), March 24 (Xinhua) Most schools in Tibetan populated Aba county in southwest China’s Sichuan province resumed classes Monday as life returned to normal after riots earlier in the month. More than 1,000 students and staff at Chengguan First Primary School in the county attended the national flag-raising ceremony at 8:40 a.m., said headmaster Han Wentian.

Han said many students came to school last Monday, just a day after the riot March 16. However, the school administration decided to suspend classes for safety reasons.

“I was happy to hear my school would reopen. I woke up at 6 a.m. today,” said 13-year-old student Zering Zhoema.

The government has exempted rural students in western regions from compulsory education fees since 2006 and provided living subsidies.

“Those mobs turn a blind eye to this,” said Wang Guanghui, a teacher from the Tibetan ethnic group.

In the Tibetan Language Middle School of Aba, students and teachers were cleaning classrooms Monday morning. A student named Muji said, “I hope the rioters are brought to justice, so that we can study in peace.”

Ma Mingchao, head of the educational bureau of Aba, which administers 48 schools and kindergartens, said all five schools in the county and most rural schools reopened Monday.

On Sunday, about 90 percent of the shops on major streets of Aba, which sits 3,300 meters above sea level with a population of more than 60,000, reopened for business.

Restaurants, hotels, grocery stores and hairdressers were reopened. Compared with the previous week, more private cars and cabs were back on the streets. Workers in supermarkets were busy trucking in bottled water, staple foods and other commodities.

On March 16, violent mobs, some shouting Tibetan independence slogans and holding flags of the so-called “Tibetan government-in-exile”, attacked government offices, police stations, hospitals, schools and banks. Most shops and markets in the county were ransacked.

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