These are some of the children I met while visiting a village school in Dingtao, Shandong. Most of the pupils in the school are children left behind by parents who have moved into the larger towns and cities (perhaps even other countries) for work.
They were drawing on the blackboard, four little scamps alone in a darkened classroom, when they spotted me spying on them and came rushing towards me with shrieks, screams and whoops.
“What are you guys doing here? Where are your classmates?”
“They went home.”
“Why are you here, then?”
“Our parents haven’t come for us. They’ll come late. At 8pm!”
The little girl points at herself and waves her other hand at the boy in green. “We live here in the dorms.”
“Why don’t you all come here and take a photo with us, all of us together?”
The suggestion falls on deaf ears. They’re off again, playing, jumping, squealing over the worn benches and desks of their classroom., little unstoppable forces waiting for their parents.
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