University commits to turning education dreams into reality

Yang Meiping
East China Normal University is deploying its resources in a 10-year program to support alumni teaching goals. This year's theme centers on poverty relief.
Yang Meiping

East China Normal University (ECNU) has launched a 10-year program to realize the dreams of individuals or teams to promote education in China.

The program will focus on a new theme each year and the first year's theme is “poverty relief and education improvement,” said Wang Hongzhou, executive deputy Party secretary of the university.

“In the following year, we will integrate all the resources of our university to help realize 70 dreams of our alumni, especially those who are fighting on the frontline of education in impoverished areas, to assist rural revitalization via developing education and promote balanced educational development in China,” he said.

The university has opened applications and some 20 education experts, prestigious educators and well-known alumni have been invited to provide guidance in realizing the selected dreams. A special foundation was set up to support the program.

At the launch ceremony, several alumni of the university shared the challenges they have faced and their dreams of promoting education in their local schools via video calls.

Wu Chaowen, who studied at the university and whose son is a doctoral student there majoring in computer science, said he worked as a Chinese teacher in a village school for 36 years in Xundian County in Yunnan and wished to help students improve their writing skills. The university pledged to open a summer master class on education to him, assign a professor to guide him and his colleagues in teaching writing and organize graduate students as mentors for Wu’s pupils.

Tian Yingbao, a student with the Class of 2015 at the university who is now working at a village school in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, said he hopes to promote PE education in the school.

Wang Xiaozan, dean of the university’s College of Physical Education and Health, advised him to develop creative PE units based on local conditions, such as running while flying kites and playing football in corridors.

Nian Zhiwei, a physics major from the Class of 2016, said his wish is to help his students win national physics competitions. University faculty said they will organize their own teachers and those from its affiliated schools to assist Nian in realizing his dream.

According to Wang Jianpan, former president of the university and now honorary dean of its Meng Xiancheng College, which is dedicated to cultivating educators, as many as 9,393 public-founded students have graduated and 6,130 of them are teaching in mid-west China. This year, 981 new public-founded educational students were admitted.

ECNU students are active in assisting the development of impoverished areas. Since 1999, as many as 82 students, in 21 batches, have served as voluntary teachers in Yunnan, Qinghai, Shanxi and Gansu provinces as well as the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Inner Mongolia.

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