School: education in the Urban Village

Xiaozhou Village has a kindergarten right outside of the historic core. The kindergarten accepts migrant’s children but charges 1200 RMB per month (privately run), which is more than half of some migrants’ pay. Opposite the kindergarten is a primary school (government-run), which accepts migrants’ children on the basis that they satisfy certain requirements. There is then a specific percentage allocated for migrants’ children who do not have their hukou in the city. There are privately-run primary schools in nearby neighbourhoods and they do not have a percentage restriction. However, they do cost more.

The result of this is that many migrant families struggle with their children education. Young couples either leave their young children to their grandparents back in the rural village where they came from or have the female in the family not work to take care of the children. There is a need for a school for second-generation migrants to be together with their core family in the urban village.

But what kind of school should it be?

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Xian Village

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Located right beside the city centre, Xian Village provides a huge contrast to the shiny high-rise towers. This is an urban village in demolition for more than 10 years. Many buildings have been abandoned and some are already in rubble. However, there is still a group of residents still living in the area.

One of the shrines is left only with its gate. Makes one wonder what is the place for these buildings in the city?

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When the buildings are demolished, the interiors are exposed to the outside:

Shipai Village

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Shipai Village is one of the densest urban villages in Guangzhou. Located right beside the Tech Street, it provides cheap accommodation right in the centre of the city.

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Entrance separating Shipai and Tech Street

Streets inside Shipai are dark – the handshake buildings have been developed to its horizontal maximum.

There are very few traditional buildings still left in Shipai, one of them is pictured below. What I found interesting is the way that green tiles were clad all around the building to renovate it, even though the building has also been marked as a protected relic.