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Parents angry at fees for better classrooms

EDUCATION authorities in east China's Anhui Province are investigating parents' complaints that a primary school charges them extra fees to let their children use better-equipped classrooms.

Pupils paying 3,000 yuan (US$439) to Xiguan school in Lingbi County can enjoy smaller classes with no more than 35 pupils in a classroom with television sets and air conditioning, parents said. Those not paying have to cram into a bigger class.

News portal found 97 pupils were crammed into one grade-five classroom. By contrast, No. 1 class in the same grade had around 30 students in a well-equipped classroom in a new building.

The school's headmaster Wang Fale said the fees were introduced by his predecessor who had already been punished for the policy. "I tried to cancel it, but in vain as parents already paying for the sponsorship are strongly against it," he said.

The preceding headmaster used the sponsorship fees to build the new teaching building, he added.

It is against the rules to offer unfair treatment to students, an official with Anhui Province's Education Bureau said. The bureau is investigating the case.


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