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Rural primary school with only one teacher

Reporter: Meng Qingsheng 丨 CCTV.com

09-10-2016 12:58 BJT

The Teachers Day in China has been an annual event since 1985 to highlight teachers’ contributions. In the southwestern province of Guizhou, there's a primary school high up in a mountain with only one man doing the job for the past three decades.

It’s a normal class for students at the Village of Gaoshan, or high mountain.

55 students are divided into different classes, but share the same teacher.

“The main difficulty lies in the shortage of teaching staff and bad school conditions. Local departments tried to solve it by relocating villagers to other areas. But the villagers refused. The government decided to respect the villagers’ choice, so now we are expanding the school,” said headmaster Jin Chuanzhong, Yinfu Primary School.

Jin Chuanzhong has been teaching at the village for 32 years. Now, he worries about the declining number of students.

This is the Gaoshan Village primary school. The whole village has about 80 school age children. However, due to limited resources, only 60 percent of them choose to study here, with the rest 40 percent learning at other schools of nearby towns.

The students living here face one common, harsh reality -- poverty. For some, it means dreams are difficult to fulfill.

“I thought about going to college, but I don’t think my family can afford the tuition. If I got admitted to college, I would find a job and earn as much as I can, to help those in need,” said Xiong Xiaofang, student of Yinfu  Primary School.

He Jin works here as a contract teacher. His three-year term will expire soon.

“I came here as a response to government policy, and my personal will. The school was in such a poor state. It touched my heart when I arrived. I think I need to stay and make some changes,” said He Jin, teacher of Yinfu  Primary School.

The changes will soon take place as the government allocates money to renovate the complex, and recruit more teachers.

For Xiang Fulu, however, the changes mean little.

“My family is very poor. In order to get the food we needed, my father has to walk across a very long distance and buy it. So I should work much harder and earn a better life for my dad,” said Xiang Fulu, student of Yinfu  Primary School.

The whole day’s learning now comes to an end.

Jin Chuanzhong, as usual, reminds his students to stay safe.

Some of them walk two hours to get home.

It's a distance people on this high mountain have covered for generations.

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