Big prizes for teachers

A dozen individuals received the 150,000-yuan (US$23,160) prizes and two teams each got 300,000 yuan.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University honored more than 100 teachers and seven teams on Sunday for their outstanding teaching to celebrate the 33rd Teachers’ Day.

The award was set up to increase teachers’ sense of honor and duty towards their jobs and to inspire their passion for teaching.

There are huge bonuses for the award winners, thanks to the incentive scheme announced earlier this year.

There are five tiers of prizes for individuals, ranging from 10,000 yuan to 200,000 yuan, and three tiers for groups, ranging from 150,000 to 500,000 yuan.

This year, no teacher or team won the top prizes, but 12 individuals were awarded the 150,000-yuan prizes and two teams got the 300,000-yuan ones.

The winners included Liu Xila, a 77-year-old professor at Jiao Tong’s School of Naval Architecture, Ocean & Civil Engineering. He has won many prizes at home and abroad for his outstanding achievements in civil engineering. Despite his research work, he has never stopped teaching. His "Introduction to Engineering" is one of the most popular lessons for students.

He is so dedicated to education that one year when he found some students hadn’t grasped solid academic knowledge, he spent a month during the scorching summer vacation to help them make up ground. Had the students not received the timely help, it would have caused them problems in postgraduate research. He took the school bus from Xuhui campus to Minhang every morning and stood in the classroom three hours a day. But he said he was happy to do so.

“Being a teacher does not bring me huge money, but it’s a great job and worth lifelong dedication,” he said. “A teacher’s capability is not only represented by the published theses, but also by how well he teaches and his impact in the field.”

“I will always be willing to teach, as long as my students want to learn,” he added.

Some other universities in Shanghai are also improving incentives for dedicated teachers.

The East China University of Science Technology has set up an award scheme, with the highest prize of 100,000 yuan. Tongji University also changed its biennial awards for outstanding teachers into an annual event.

Big prizes for teachers

This year's highest prize winners

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