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The 17th PKU Graduate Student Volunteer Teaching Program Goes to Qinghai

Peking University, April 23, 2015: In October last year, after some rigorous tests and interviews, 21 Senior students and 3 Master students were chosen to participate in the 17th PKU Graduate Student Volunteer Teaching Program. They will be going to many rural and remote areas in China — where education is a scarce resource — in August this year.

In order to improve teaching ability among volunteers and to enhance their esprit de corps, participants of the program went to Qinghai to undertake a week-long teaching project from April 11 to April 18 as part of their pre-volunteering training. 

Before their departure, volunteers organized donation activities for students and faculty members who wished to send stationery to poor areas. The enthusiasm was such that volunteers received hundreds of notebooks and thousands of pens — weighing 100 kilograms — in only two days. Volunteers carried them personally to Qinghai.

On April 13, volunteers arrived at Datong County, Qinghai, where the program has been helping local education for the past 16 years. Wang Zhibang, Party Chief at the county, spoke about his hope of seeing more contributions to local education during a welcoming symposium. Shao Zijian, Temporary Party Chief of the 17th Program, then talked about gathering firsthand experience from previous outstanding volunteers, which is also the main theme of this training session.

After the symposium, volunteers listened to classes given by participants of the 16th Program and learned various teaching methods. They also entered the local school’s classrooms and gained firsthand experience through their interactions with students.

One of the volunteers is giving a lesson

An 800-kilometer trip ensued as the volunteers arrived in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture on April 14. People there were commemorating the 5th anniversary of the Yushu Earthquake, so the volunteers visited the earthquake museum and delivered well-wishes from Peking University students to people in the disaster-stricken area.

A volunteer from the 15th PKU Graduate Student Volunteer Teaching Program, Song Wenxuan, also the first ever volunteer to request to stay in rural areas for more than the standard one year in China, currently volunteers at the Shangba Tang primary school affiliated to Bayi Vocational School in Yushu. He shared his experience with the new volunteers and cooperated with them to give a whole day of classes at the school, including various extra-curriculum activities. They received exceptional praise from the locals.

In the next few days, they held a ceremony to donate stationary gathered at Peking University to local students and teachers, and listened to vice-governor of the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Li Jun, explaining the progress of reconstruction in the region.

The Donation Ceremony

The volunteers concluded their trip on April 18, but their training does not stop there — in the next three months, they will continue to receive training so that they will successfully complete the year-long volunteer teaching program.

PKU Graduate Student Volunteer Teaching Program has recruited a total of 247 volunteers since it was founded in 1998. These graduate students have dedicated themselves to the cause of education and made contributions to the educational development in a number of rural and remote areas in China, including Xinjiang, Tibet, Qinghai and Inner Mongolia. The program lasts an entire year.

Reported by: Wang Zhen

Edited by: Xu Liangdi