China's 'frost boy' returns to original school after one week at private boarding school

China's 'frost boy' returns to original school after one week at private boarding school

KUNMING - A poverty-stricken schoolboy in south-west China's Yunnan province, who was dubbed "frost boy", has returned to his original school after just one week at a private boarding school.

Third-grader Wang Fuman attracted public attention for a second time following media reports that he was forced to leave the private school where he had been offered free boarding.

Fuman became an online sensation in January when a photo showing him arriving at school in a thin jacket with rosy cheeks and frost-covered hair after a one-and-a-half-hour walk went viral on social media.

The eight-year-old had trekked a more than four-km mountain road from his home to Zhuanshanbao primary school at an elevation of 2,850 metres in Ludian County on the freezing morning.

His hair, eyebrows and eyelashes were covered with ice. His teacher snapped a photo of him and posted it on WeChat, a popular Chinese messaging app. Wang's story soon moved millions of Chinese, who called him "frost boy," and many making donations to help the boy's family.

After the Chinese New Year, which fell on Feb 16 this year, Xinhua School, a private boarding school in Zhaotong, which administers Ludian, offered the boy and his sister a chance of free boarding education.

The boy's father Wang Gangkui accepted the help and sent the two children to the school more than 40 kilometers away from their home.

"Although the school is far away, my son can live and eat on campus and do his homework after class without the distraction of housework," said the father.

The headmaster of Xinhua School, who gave his surname Yang, said he wanted the boy and his sister to set a good example for other poor children.

"Although they come from poverty, they can change their fate through hard work," said Mr Yang.

Boy in Yunnan braves freezing cold to go to school

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    Photos of a boy who arrived at school with a head full of icicles after walking more than 4 kilometers through the freezing snow have drawn widespread attention to children from poor rural families.

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    Fu Heng, the school's principal, said his classrooms do not have heating due to a lack of funding.

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    Wearing only a thin jacket, the student had braved -9 C weather to travel over an hour from his village home to reach Zhuanshanbao Primary School in Zhaotong, Yunnan province.

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    Wang Manfu, 10, was photographed by his teacher and the picture quickly went viral after being shared on social media.

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    The provincial foundation had collected about 300,000 yuan (S$61,000) in public donations, and its Zhaotong office had also collected more than 26,200 yuan

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    He lives in a mud hut with his grandmother and older sister, and rarely sees his parents because they are migrant workers in other cities.

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    Wang, who has been nicknamed "Snowflake Boy" by netizens, became an overnight sensation online.

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    A company donated 144 pieces of winter wear and 20 sets of heating equipment to the school

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    Netizens have written poems and drawn illustrations based on his picture as a form of encouragement.

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    The boy also said he wants to become a policeman when he grows up.

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"However frequent media interviews and visits by people from all walks of life disrupted the school," said Mr Yang.

"Students here can only go home once a month and we were worried that the boy could not handle this and his studies would be affected."

"Because of these reasons, we contacted their father and then sent the two back to their original school," he said.

The education department in Ludian confirmed that the two children returned to the Zhuanshanbao primary school last Wednesday (March 7).

Fu Heng, principal of the primary school, said people should respect the decision and support it in the best interests of the child.

"His studies have not been affected by the school transfer," said Mr Fu, adding that the boy is as optimistic as before and gets along well with classmates.

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