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Teacher braves hardship to help rural children

Reporter: Tao Yuan 丨 CCTV.com

06-08-2016 13:14 BJT

Full coverage: 95 years of glory

Continuing our series of Today's Communist Party of China. We meet an elementary school teacher who has devoted her life to helping underprivileged children living in China's lesser developed areas.

In rain and in scorching sun, Yuan Li has walked these mountain roads countless times. This is where many of her students live. We accompanied her as she visited one of her student - 6-year-old Xiuying.

The preschooler seldom talks, even with her closest relatives. Her adoptive parents work long hours as field laborers. Yuan Li wants a better future for Xiuying.

Yuan said, "I'm trying to get her into my class when she is old enough to go to elementary school. If I can spend more time with her, I might be able to help her to become more outgoing."

Many of the students in the township school where Yuan Li teaches come from problematic families. The majority are left-behind children whose parents live and work in cities far away. Some live on remote hilltops with little connection to the outside world.

Yuan also said, "Many of my kids have never left their township. They have never seen many of the words that I teach at school. Skyscrapers to them is just a word – they don't know what they are. I want them to see more of the world."

"I know we need teachers here in the countryside and townships. If we have more young teachers here, maybe more children can leave these mountains and see the outside world. Maybe their lives can be different."

One of her students is working hard towards achieving that dream. Chen Xing is about to take the middle school entrance exam. With his grades, he might be able to leave his village to attend a county school. 

Chen said, "Ms. Yuan told me the roads in the cities are much better. They plant trees there, and they have parks. The economy is also better. I think it will be good for my studies."

Yuan li says it is students like Chen Xing that have kept her motivated to keep teaching for the past some twenty years.

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