New school asks China's Ice Boy to leave after a week over intense scrutiny from media, govt: Report

Wang Fuman became the face of Chinese poverty after a photo of his freezing trek to school went viral online.
Wang Fuman became the face of Chinese poverty after a photo of his freezing trek to school went viral online.PHOTO: WEIBO

The Chinese schoolboy who earned the nickname "Ice Boy" after he arrived in school with icicles in his hair has been asked to leave his new school after just more than a week.

In January, eight-year-old Wang Fuman became the face of Chinese poverty after a photo of his freezing trek to school went viral online.

Soon after, donations and offers of help have poured in for the boy and his family, including an offer of free education from a private school in Zhaotong, south-western Yunnan province.

However, according to the South China Morning Post, the intense media scrutiny has led to the headmaster to ask the boy to leave the school after a little more than a week.

Wang had started attending classes at Xinhua School late last month, after the headmaster had learnt of the boy's plight.

Enrolling at the boarding school meant that Wang could avoid a daily commute to class.

But on Tuesday (March 6), the boy's father was asked to pick him up from school and take him back to his original school, reported SCMP.


Wang Fuman was offered free education from a private school in Zhaotong, but the intense media scrutiny has led to the headmaster to ask the boy to leave the school after a little more than a week. PHOTO: AFP

"I'm illiterate and I don't understand why this school has kicked us out," Mr Wang was quoted as saying.

According to SCMP, the boy said he liked his new school and that his new teachers were better than the ones at his previous school.

 
 
 
 

In an interview with the Hong Kong newspaper, the headmaster said the media attention and scrutiny from the authorities placed the school under immense pressure and inconvenience.

The headmaster, who was only identified as Mr Yang, said he did not know that the boy was noted by the Ministry of Education as a "key figure" to be helped in the government's efforts to alleviate poverty.

"As a result, during these days of having him in my school, we received numerous requests from various levels of government departments to inspect us. Many media outlets also insisted on interviewing us. It was impossible for me to reject many of these requests," Mr Yang told SCMP.

Instead, the headmaster decided to give Mr Wang 15,000 yuan (S$3,114) and offered to help the family in other ways in the future.

According to previous reports, donations for the boy's family amounted to more than 300,000 yuan.

After Wang's plight went viral, he was taken to Beijing for a three-day visit sponsored by a Chinese Communist Party website, China Peace.

In Beijing, the boy reportedly experienced the warmth of a central heating system for the first time, calling it a "miracle".