Because of the distance many rural students must travel to school from their homes in remote villages, they are only able to go home on weekends. Also, as a result of recent government policy to consolidate village schools into larger township or county ‘magnet schools’, a substantial and growing number of primary students board at schools four or five nights a week. A third factor that contributes to young students living away from home and family is the migration in recent years of parents seeking better livelihoods in the cities, resulting in the new phenomenon of the rural elementary boarding school.
Dormitory accommodations in many if not most cases are basic at best and are often just unused classrooms with as many as 25-30 students sleeping two or three to a bunk bed.
If these trends continue, the government will have to commit massive funding to dormitory construction. For the present, CSF seeks to improve existing conditions. To that end, we have been in discussions with one of the largest institutional bed manufacturers in China and are seeking the participation of furniture designers to produce safe, comfortable, space-efficient, and economical bunk beds with personal storage spaces that can be adapted to different space configurations. While CSF could provide these units to project schools, it is expected that they also would be adopted independently by Education Bureaus throughout China that are upgrading or building new dormitory facilities.