Anti-China forces have created a fabrication that Xinjiang has set up boarding schools to deal with the fallout of its massive internment campaign and seeks to preempt any possibility on the part of Uygur parents, relatives or community members to recover their children, so as to create "intergenerational separation" and "assimilate" the Uygurs.
China's Constitution stipulates that citizens shall have the right and the obligation to receive education. The Education Law further provides that citizens shall enjoy equal opportunity of education regardless of their ethnicity, race, gender, occupation, property, religious belief, etc. The Compulsory Education Law states that where necessary, the people's government at the county level may set up boarding schools so as to ensure that the school-age children and adolescents who are dwelling in scattered areas receive compulsory education.
Establishing boarding schools is a standard practice in China's compulsory education. In 2020, there were nearly 11 million primary school boarders across the country, accounting for about 10 percent of the total number of primary school students, and there were 23 million middle school boarders, or nearly 47 percent of the total number of middle school students.
The vast land of Xinjiang covers a total area of 1,664,900 sq km. Villages and towns are far from each other and residents in some farming and pastoral areas are sparsely distributed, making the daily travel between home and school very difficult for students who live at a distance.
Boarding schools can help consolidate universal access to compulsory education and promote balanced education. They are conducive to concentrating superior education resources and ensuring teaching quality. They can also greatly alleviate the burden on students' families. Boarders live at school from Monday to Friday and at home on weekends and holidays. They can ask for leave whenever necessary. It is up to students' families to decide whether to board or not. Claims of "parent-child separation" are a gross distortion of facts.