Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, October 28 – There are thousands of schoolchildren who cross the border from Shenzhen, China, into Hong Kong every school day. In 2014-15, there were supposedly almost 25,000! As young as 3 years old, and up through high school. I’m not very knowledgeable about this, so I’m going to quote a China Daily newspaper article:
“More than 202,300 non-local children had been born in Hong Kong by the time the ban (passed in 2013) was imposed. They have permanent residence, but their parents, who are mostly from the mainland, don't, so the children live in Shenzhen and cross the border every day to go to school.The number of children crossing the border for schooling will peak in the 2018-19 school year, before gradually decreasing, according to the Hong Kong Education Bureau…” http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2016-05/04/content_25061392.htm
These children can spend up to 4 hours a day getting to school and back home again. Sometimes they have an adult accompany them, but, more often, assistants are in charge of groups of students; The older ones are on their own. There are special lines at immigration for these cross-border students. Although the immigration halls are usually quiet places, if you happen to be there when the school children help fill the hall, it can be quite noisy! You aren’t supposed to use your mobile phones in the Immigration Hall, so I don’t have pictures of them all lined up, but here are a couple photos of children before we got to the immigration lines today, when returning to China from Hong Kong.