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英文网站转载最多地震专文:为何众多学校震成碎片废墟? /郭国汀(图)
请看博讯热点:四川地震

(博讯北京时间2008年5月26日 首发 - 支持此文作者/记者)
    郭国汀更多文章请看郭国汀专栏
被全球英文网站转载最多的地震专文:中国人持续追问为何众多学校震成碎片废墟?

    作者:郭国汀
    
    
    该文对四川大地震引发的四川省6000余座学校跨塌的深层原因,从记者和专家的角度进行了调查分析.新建小学660名学生至少死亡300名以上,但具据死亡人数迄今官方仍无数据,据合理推算此次地震中小学生死亡至少超过10000人. 但中国官方对遇难的学生总数同样迄今没有数据.二战时日本被两颗原子弹炸死数十万人,日本政府统计的死难者准确到个位数,且全部真名实姓.足证中国政府的严重失职。
    
    英文网站转载最多地震专文:为何众多学校震成碎片废墟? /郭国汀
    被地震震成碎片废墟的新建小学
    与新建小学仅5分钟路程,有一所当地官家及精英子弟入学的北佳小学,在此次地震中丝毫未损,还被当作庇难场所. 侧面反映了中国大陆普遍推广的重点学校体制,是制度性杀手之一.因为重点学校政府投入大量资金,不但师资一流生源一流,而且所有的资源全部优先,其校建筑当然资金充足从而质量肯定也有起码的保障.反之如新建小学此种仅是收纳民工及社会低层子女的平民学校,政府几乎无分文投入,纯靠地方民众集资,因而学校建筑质量难免大受影响.重点学校制度人为在一个社会中制造歧视与不平等。据我所知加拿大的公立学校根本不分重点与非重点,其资金师资资源分配一律平等,而且学校建筑绝大多数为一层楼的建筑,占地广大,绿化优良,反映了加国政府对教育的重视与优先,更体现了加国政府对学生安全的高度重视。
    
    英文网站转载最多地震专文:为何众多学校震成碎片废墟? /郭国汀


    四年级一个有48名学生的班级仅9人获救
    
    中国人有尊重教育的优良传统,因而极为重视子女的教育,因为这是改变人生命运的唯一通道,加之在极度无知无能的中共专制暴政下,社会就业机会稀少,于是千军万马皆走大学道成为中国社会的独特景观;特别是在强制计划生育政策下,国人更是不遗余力地投资子女的教育,以期望子女将来成龙成凤. 新建小学的学生绝大部分系民工及农民子女.他们省吃简用供子女上学,期望将来能上大学改变种田的苦难命运,因为中国民事实上成为中国社会最底层的贱民。有一位父亲为将其儿子调入北佳小学,到处托人求爷告奶,花了数千元打点,最终未果,结果他的儿子在此次地震中遇难,令其后悔不已.另一位父亲常年在外打工,与儿子分别八年,去年秋刚将儿子接到同一城市都江,结果其儿却因此命丧黄泉,令其痛悔不该将儿子接来同住.
    虽然联合国秘书长及联合国对中国政府的救灾反应表示赞赏,但受害家长们却开始直言,认为政府失职,官员腐败是造成学子大量死亡的原因,并欲为死难孩子讨公道,索赔损失.中国中央政府近年来逐渐大幅消减中小学财政、学费和其它费用.而中共各级官员每年公款仅花在吃喝一项即高达3000亿元以上,公款旅游也超过3000亿,另公车消费3000亿,但却大幅削减中小学校建设投资.我1983年在吉林大学时看到的资料显示当年中国教育投入仅占国民生产总值的3%,而只到今天仍然是3%!在全球排名倒数名列前茅甚至不如非洲的乌干达!足证中共专制暴政是个极度无耻无能缺德的非法政权,南郭期望国人能被彻底震醒,早日彻底唾弃罪恶的中共极权专制暴政,才能一劳逸地摆脱极度不公不义的流氓暴政的奴役。
    新建小学主教学楼的跨塌主要原因乃是: 钢筋强度严重不足,水泥沙子比例失调,用没有专业知识的农民代替建筑工人承建,政府主管部门严重失职;这是中共为一已之私鼓励提倡[一切向钱看]不顾道德的必然恶果,偷工简料行贿受贿在建筑业是非常普遍的现象,大陆中国在中共一党专制暴政的奴役下,各行各业早已腐败不堪,连一个社会公正最终的裁决者----司法也早已腐败透顶,甚至连教育部门也早已腐化堕落,因此地震虽是天灾但实质上是人祸才导致如此众多学校跨塌,上万师生如花的生命消失于瞬间,而真正的罪魁祸首正是罪恶的中共专制暴政.
    问题的严重性在于,新建小学存在的问题在中国中小学中普遍存在,而且专家认为此种不合格的教学楼实质上是定时炸弹.近日看到网上有人,甚至有所谓“民运精英”不断地歌功颂德表杨中共当局在此次救灾中“进步令人耳目一新”,“新闻自由有很大改观”,“中国政府反应迅速”,“政府开始重视人命”等,其实,中共的新闻控制一点也未减轻仅是欺骗手段更高明,更精致化,更白骨精化而已;从中共最高当局故意隐瞒地震预报信息,到地震发生后,竟故意拒绝境外救助人员入境,至官方救助队伍甚至与民间志愿救助队伍几乎同时到达重灾区,及官方撑控的新闻媒体歌功颂德远比真客观报导多数十倍的事实来看,中共根本不存在上述所谓进步!犹值一提的是:军队救灾人数在关健的72小时是由几千人渐次增加到十万人,最终也不超过十五万人,而动用直升飞机也是由两架渐增至29架,但1989年北京六四屠城中共一次性调动全副武装野战军30万人军车坦克无数入京城高效血腥镇压爱国学生民运动。两相比较,不证自明地彻底披露了中共所谓重视救灾速度及所谓[以人为本][和协社会]等吹嘘纯属谎言。
    2008年5月25日第117个反中共专制暴政争自由人权民主绝食维权抗暴日于温哥华岛
    Grief in the Rubble Chinese Are Left to Ask Why Schools Crumbled
    
    
    By JIM YARDLEY
    Published: May 25, 2008
    DUJIANGYAN, China — The earthquake’s destruction of Xinjian Primary School was swift and complete. Hundreds of children were crushed as the floors collapsed in a deluge of falling bricks and concrete. Days later, as curiosity seekers came with video cameras and as parents came to grieve, the four-story school was no more than rubble.
    In contrast, none of the nearby buildings were badly damaged. A separate kindergarten less than 20 feet away survived with barely a crack. An adjacent 10-story hotel stood largely undisturbed. And another local primary school, Beijie, catering to children of the elite, was in such good condition that local officials were using it as a refugee center.
    “This is not a natural disaster,” said Ren Yongchang, whose 9-year-old son died inside the destroyed school. His hands were covered in plaster dust as he stood beside the rubble, shouting and weeping as he grabbed the exposed steel rebar of a broken concrete column. “This is not good steel. It doesn’t meet standards. They stole our children.”
    There is no official figure on how many children died at Xinjian Primary School, nor on how many died at scores of other schools that collapsed in the powerful May 12 earthquake in Sichuan Province. But the number of student deaths seems likely to exceed 10,000, and possibly go much higher, a staggering figure that has become a simmering controversy in China as grieving parents say their children might have lived had the schools been better built.
    The Chinese government has enjoyed broad public support for its handling of the earthquake, and in Sichuan on Saturday, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations praised the government’s response.
    But as parents at different schools begin to speak out, the question of whether official negligence, and possibly corruption, contributed to the student deaths could turn public opinion. The government has launched an investigation, but censors, wary of the public mood, are trying to suppress the issue in state-run media and online.
    An examination of the collapse of Xinjian Primary School offers a disturbing picture of a calamity that might have been avoided. Many parents say they were told the school was unsafe. Xinjian was poorly built when it opened its doors in 1992, they say, and never got its share of government funds for reconstruction because of its low ranking in the local education bureaucracy and the low social status of its students.
    A decade ago, a detached wing of the school was torn down and rebuilt because of safety concerns. But the main building remained unimproved. Engineers and earthquake experts who examined photographs of its wreckage concluded that the structure had many failings and one critical flaw: inadequate iron reinforcing rods running up the school’s vertical columns. One expert described the unstable concrete floor panels as “time bombs.”
    Xinjian also was ill-equipped for a crisis. An ambulance and other rescue vehicles that responded after the earthquake could not fit through the entrance into the school’s courtyard. A bulldozer finally dug up beneath the front gate to create enough overhead clearance. Parents say they believe several hundred of the school’s 660 pupils died.
    “It is impossible to describe,” said a nurse standing on the rubble of the Xinjian site. “There is death everywhere.”
    Schools are vulnerable to earthquakes, especially in developing nations where less attention is paid to building codes. The quake in Sichuan Province has already claimed 60,560 lives, and some of the flattened schools, especially those buried under landslides, could not have stood under any circumstances. The government has not provided a public list of those schools, but one early estimate concluded that more than 7,000 “schoolrooms” were destroyed.
    China has national building codes intended to ensure that major structures withstand earthquakes. The government also has made upgrading or replacing substandard schools a priority as part of a broader effort to improve and expand education. Yet codes are spottily enforced. In March 2006, Sichuan Province issued a notice that local governments must inspect schools because too many remained unsafe, according to one official Web site.
    Page 2 of 4)
    Nothing is more central to the social contract in China than schools. Parents sacrifice and “eat bitter” so their children can get educations that lead to better lives. In turn, children care for their parents in old age. As in Manhattan, affluent Chinese fight to gain entrance to top schools from kindergarten onward.
     ‘THERE IS DEATH EVERYWHERE’ Soldiers uncovered a student’s body at Beichuan Middle School, one of scores of schools that collapsed. Beichuan was one of the towns hardest hit on May 12.
    But the families who sent their children to Xinjian are neither wealthy nor well connected. They are among the hundreds of millions still struggling to benefit from China’s economic rise. Many lost their jobs when a local cement plant shut down. Some sought work in more prosperous areas, leaving their children behind to attend school.
    Angry parents at several destroyed schools are beginning to stage small demonstrations. On Wednesday, more than 200 Xinjian parents demonstrated at the temporary tents used by Dujiangyan’s education bureau, demanding an investigation and accusing officials of corruption and negligence.
    One of the parents, Li Wei, said his son was one of 54 students who died in a class of 60 fifth graders. He said education officials told the demonstrating parents that the bureau had reported safety concerns to municipal leaders in the past. But their complaints were ignored.
    “We want to bring justice for our children,” one father said the day before the protest. “We want the local officials to pay the price.”
    Poor School, Long Neglected
    The earthquake struck on May 12 at 2:28 in the afternoon as 20 fifth graders were rehearsing a dance on the basketball court in front of the school. Fourth graders were outside for gym class. When nearby shopkeepers rushed over, the children were standing on the court amid a cloud of dust. “They weren’t crying,” said Chen Chunmei, 35, the manager of a shopping strip beside the school. “They were in shock.”
    The main building was decimated. Parents, neighbors and nearby college students arrived to find awful carnage. Ma Qiang, a decommissioned soldier living across the street, described a sickening scene.
    “We were standing on the bodies of dead children, pulling out other children,” he recalled days later. He stood in the rubble and held his hand level with his head. “The concrete was this high. On the top was a boy, and two girls below him, and another boy under them, who was dead. It took four hours to dig them out.”
    For hours, this ad hoc rescue team formed a line and passed along bricks or chunks of concrete in an attempt to clear debris. Bodies of children were piled on the sidewalk across the street. By late evening, paramilitary officers arrived and ordered the parents and others to withdraw outside the school gate. Many parents considered this a tardy response that was a stinging reminder of Xinjian’s low standing.
    “A lot of our students came from the mountains,” said Deng Huiying, the former long-time principal. “Their parents were migrant workers.”
    Xinjian is in the heart of the city of Dujiangyan. The lack of damage to the yellow-tiled kindergarten next door or to the Beijie Primary School a five-minute walk away has served as a reminder that proximity is not the same as equality.
    Beijie is the city’s elite primary school, designated as a provincial-level “key” school, boasting the best facilities and the finest teachers. The kindergarten, meanwhile, was built and controlled directly by the city government of Dujiangyan. For years, Xinjian was controlled by a smaller, local township government, which had far less money and did little to improve the school.
    In recent years, China’s central government has gradually abolished primary school tuition and other fees to ease burdens on farmers and migrants. Beijing has also increased its payments to local governments for education, but the main burden remains on local authorities, and many find themselves strapped for cash or siphon it off.
    When Xinjian was built in 1992, many parents worked for the Dongfeng Cement Factory. Company bosses donated 40 tons of cement. But that was not enough. “Everybody knew they didn’t have enough cement,” said Dai Chuanbin, an older man familiar with the project. “So they used a lot of sand.”
    (Page 3 of 4)
    Parents say the township government cut costs further by hiring farmers to do the work instead of trained construction crews. One former school official recalled that workers poured the foundation during such heavy rains that it collapsed. Another foundation had to be poured.
    The school opened in 1993 and would quickly be overrun with students. The detached annex was rebuilt in 1998 after inspectors deemed it substandard. Ms. Deng, the former principal, recalled that nearby construction work in May 2006 caused the flooring in the main school building to shake violently. But she said she never had reason to believe the building was structurally unsound and never filed any written complaints with higher officials.
    “If I’d thought the building was unsafe, there’s no way I would have let the kids stay there,” she said. When she saw the collapsed building, she fell on the ground, sobbing.
    Several parents tell a different story. They say Ms. Deng and other school officials told them that the building was aging and unsafe, though they could provide no written proof. One father was told that Xinjian would soon be closed. Another, Zhu Junsheng, 44, claimed that Ms. Deng filed a report with Dujiangyan’s education bureau complaining about the building.
    “The education bureau said there was no money,” said Mr. Zhu, sitting in front of a blue tent in a refugee camp a block from the school. “They didn’t care.
    “I just want to say: The government didn’t do its job.”
    Nearly two weeks after the earthquake, Mr. Ma, the decommissioned soldier, keeps returning to the rubble of Xinjian. He smokes cigarette after cigarette and has not changed out of the Che Guevara T-shirt and blue jeans he wore on that frantic afternoon.
    “That’s where government officials send their children to nursery school,” he said, pointing to the undamaged, yellow-tiled kindergarten.
    Mr. Ma saved several children the day of the disaster but cannot shake the memory of one girl. Her leg had been pinned beneath a heavy concrete slab. Two small cranes had failed to free her. Her body temperature was quickly dropping. So Mr. Ma told her father, “She can keep her leg or her life.”
    The father was led away. Mr. Ma used a serrated knife he kept in his jeans. He said the job took three cuts across the girl’s shin. “She will hate me when she is older if she has trouble with love,” he said with a grim smile.
    He does not know the girl’s name. “I have dreams every night,” he said. “She was very pretty. Very strong.”
    Deadly Engineering Shortcuts
    Techniques for fortifying buildings to withstand earthquakes have been clearly understood for decades. Use high-quality concrete. Embed extra iron rods. Tie them tightly into bundles with strong wire. Ensure that components of floors, walls and columns are firmly attached. Pay special attention to columns, which are the key to having a building sway rather than topple.
    Engineers are already trying to assess how much of the destruction on May 12 should be attributed to faulty construction during China’s long and often helter-skelter building boom. The earthquake was so powerful, measuring at least 7.9 in magnitude, that a certain amount of damage could not be prevented. But engineering experts say Xinjian and some other schools in Sichuan were especially vulnerable.
    Six structural engineers and earthquake experts asked by The New York Times to analyze an online photographic slide show of the wreckage at Xinjian concluded, independently, that inadequate steel reinforcement, or rebar, was used in the concrete columns supporting the school. They also found that the school’s precast, hollow concrete slab floors and walls did not appear to be securely joined together.
    The widespread use of cheap, hollow slab floors is significant because numerous buildings with the same flooring collapsed during another Chinese earthquake in 1976, which devastated the city of Tangshan and killed at least 240,000. (A few buildings with the same flooring also fared poorly during the 1994 earthquake in California.)
    “If the hollow core slabs are not adequately tied to the lateral frames, which seems to be the case in the photos, the structures are likely very flexible and would undergo large deformations under severe ground motions,” said Mary Beth Hueste, an associate professor of engineering at Texas A&M University, in an e-mail message.
    When such components are not securely joined, they are “extremely dangerous, like time bombs,” said Xiao Yan, an expert in earthquake-resistant designs at the University of Southern California.
    Page 4 of 4)
    The most pronounced failing at Xinjian seemed to be inadequate steel reinforcement of the concrete columns supporting the school, experts said. There were too few rebar reinforcing rods and too little of the thin binding wire that holds the rebar together. And, critically, the steel bindings attaching the concrete flooring slabs were inadequate.
    Times reporters are answering readers’ questions about the earthquake, its aftermath and the Chinese government’s response.
    Xiaonian Duan, an engineer specializing in earthquake resilience for Arup, a multinational design consulting company whose head office is in London, said that concrete flooring panels fall apart during an earthquake if not strongly attached, “like we see Legos collapse.”
    The Chinese government has known that many schools, especially in rural areas, are unsafe. Since 2001, the State Council, China’s cabinet, has budgeted roughly $1.5 billion for a nationwide program to repair dangerous schools in rural areas. In 2006, Sichuan Province’s government issued an urgent notice calling for localities to stop using substandard primary and middle schools.
    “Unsafe buildings are the major hidden danger of school safety at present, and in recent years, accidents with death tolls and injuries were caused by collapsed schools,” the provincial notice warned.
    Dr. Xiao toured the disaster zone after this month’s earthquake and found that many of the problems at Xinjian were common elsewhere. He said one reason for the widespread damage was that buildings in the region were not required to meet China’s most stringent standards for seismic protection. He also noted that China rates overall building design codes from 1 to 4. Buildings rated 1 are considered “important” and must meet stricter design requirements. But the system rates schools only as a 3, which means no additional design protections are needed.
    In the aftermath of the quake, a handful of bricklayers and builders have visited Xinjian Primary School out of professional curiosity. A builder from nearby Meishan City recognized the faulty columns and flooring problems. Then he picked up a chunk of concrete from the rubble and rubbed it in his hands.
    “The ratio of sand and concrete isn’t right,” he said. “It fell down because of cheap materials.”
    In Search of Justice
    The parents of Xinjian Primary School posted an online petition last Wednesday. They demanded justice for their children. Local police officials have promised an investigation, but the parents are not satisfied. They intend to protest again.
    School represents hope in China. The parents do not express it exactly like that, but they saw education as their children’s only chance. The cement factory that employed many parents — and provided cement for the school — went bankrupt in 2002. They now collect small welfare payments and hold down odd jobs to support their families.
    Liao Minhui had aspirations for his daughter. He knew that Xinjian was considered inferior and that a better school might help her find a better life. So he tried to wheedle her into Beijie, the elite school. He said he offered thousands of yuan to gain her admission, to no avail. She died in the Xinjian rubble.
    “I tried very hard,” Mr. Liao said. “I tried to get help from every well-connected friend I have. Everything there is the best. The teachers are the best. The facilities are the best.”
    Jiang Xuezheng, 41, is a small, wiry man whose simple manner betrays his country upbringing in a village about 200 miles away. He has sold fruit in Dujiangyan for nearly a decade to support his family back in the village. But to do this, he lived apart from his son for eight years.
    So last year, Mr. Jiang also paid to try to win his child admission to a city school. He chose Xinjian. To him, a peasant, a city school like Xinjian represented a step up. He paid a $1,400 fee to make the switch. His 9-year-old boy was admitted in September.
    “My parents are still in the countryside, but I wanted my son to live with me,” said Mr. Jiang, bowing his head and weeping. “I waited for eight years. Finally, I was together with my son.
    “And then tragedy happens.” _(博讯记者:牛虻) [博讯首发,转载请注明出处]- 支持此文作者/记者(博讯 boxun.com)

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