Youth-led education sessions in Zhejiang village foster balance, aspiration

2023-08-29 Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

(ECNS) -- Following the remarkable success of the "Village Basketball Association" (Cun BA) and the "Village Super (Soccer) League" (Cun chao in Chinese) in Guizhou Province, which garnered attention from domestic and international audiences this year, a new trend is now unfolding in Pan'an County, Zhejiang Province, with the emergence of village educational sessions.

With the approach of the autumn semester, a village in Pan'an organized gathering of more than a hundred adolescents from the nearby mountainous region, joined by their parents and educators.

The lecturers were principals from middle schools, top students of Zhejiang University and young cadres of Zhejiang province. Young people are the driving force behind these educational sessions.

Villagers attend an open class in Pan'an County of Zhejiang Province. (Photo/China News Service)

Located in central Zhejiang, Pan'an County grapples with an environment dominated by mountains, which cover as much as 90 percent of the region.

Chen Haiyu, an undergraduate student from the School of Public Administration of Zhejiang University, was raised in Pan'an.

"We are as inclusive as the mountains, firm as rocks," Chen said.

Five Zhejiang University students, including Chen, shared their experiences, discussing topics like sparking interest in learning, mastering self-discipline and excelling in different subjects.

Xu Bentao, an administrator with Zhejiang University, said, "We hope everyone can surmount the various challenges life presents and keep in mind the care and support they have received from parents, elders, peers, and society."

Xu was born in Lushan County, in central China’s Henan Province, one of the last nationally designated impoverished counties to get rid of poverty. Having received national student aid and support from various sectors during his pursuit of education, he actively participated in the event as an expression of his gratitude.

Similarly, Gao Jinshuang, a doctoral student in Energy Engineering at Zhejiang University, who grew up in a rural area on the Yunnan border, shared his story of personal growth.

During his junior school years, a team from Zhejiang University conducted a lecture in his hometown which proved to be the catalyst for his unwavering determination in the face of adversity.

The event went beyond academic instruction but focused on fostering the holistic growth of mountainous students.

Jiang Wanyu, principal of a middle school in Pan'an County, perceived the presenters at these sessions as life mentors could for the children, especially those left behind due to absence of parental accompany.

“They are exemplary figures in academic excellence. By sharing their experiences, they broaden the horizons of students in the county, paving them a way for a brighter future. I hope this event could be held on a regular basis,” Jiang said.

This initiative not only encourages college students to actively engage with rural youth in their development but also offers a significant platform for urban and rural youth to interact and learn from each other.

"Today, youth's destiny and growth are more closely tied than ever before," remarked Bao Dawei, deputy secretary of the Zhejiang University Youth League Committee, in an interview with China News.

Also a researcher, and doctoral supervisor, Bao suggested that these educational sessions facilitate more proactive and conscious dialogues between university and rural youth, bridging developmental gaps through mutual support and shared learning experiences.

Chen Xianghong, principal of a middle school in Hangzhou City, capital of Zhejiang Province, and also a student who himself was raised in a rural setting, said that the value of quality education resources to rural regions cannot be understated.

"Similar initiatives should be tailored and promoted to assist rural rejuvenation," Chen emphasized.

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