By Liang Kaiyan | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-06-28 09:00
Voluntary teaching groups of the University of Science and Technology of China have been putting in efforts in Haiyuan county of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region over the past 20 years.
In 1999, the university in Hefei, Anhui province, began to form voluntary teaching groups that encouraged students to help education in underdeveloped areas. These included Qinghai province, Gansu province and Ningxia. These groups have attracted people ranging from the post-1970 to post-2000 generations.
In September 2018, the university selected their 21st voluntary group. They will go to the county in July to offer help.
Zhao Di, a senior student of the university and a member of the 21st voluntary group, said his father volunteered to be a technician in the Tibet autonomous region.
I still remember my father told me about his experience and that encouraged me to do the same, Zhao said.
Over the past year, numerous members of the voluntary teaching group of the university have made the journey.
It is 1,500 kilometers from Hefei city to Haiyuan county. The youth of our generation should contribute their share to the country's construction through action, said Zhang Xiaoya, head of the 21st volunteer teaching team.
With an expertise in scientific research, the university set up a scientific innovation center in the No 1 middle school in Haiyuan.
Since 2013, the group has organized a study group in the university for teachers and students in Haiyuan.
Zhang Jiali is a student from Ningxia University who gained help from the group during her school time.
In 2017, Zhang posted a notice online to find the volunteer, Li Dezheng, who provided her with financial help. Li not only sent me grants every semester, but wrote to teach me learning methods, Zhang said. I really appreciate his help.
In June, the university organized its leaders and members to pay a return visit to Haiyuan.
Gong Cheng was a member of the 11th volunteer teaching team. He said people in Haiyuan welcomed them warmly for their contribution over the years. In 2008, the university launched an activity to offer free glasses for students who suffer from shortsightedness. A parent came to thank me for the glasses when they heard that I was back, Gong said.
I took a girl in my class to have glasses prescribed. Her facial expression after seeing the clear world moved and inspired me to work hard, he said.
Yan Pengfei, secretary of the 18th voluntary teaching team, said the experience has brought color to members' lives.
The voluntary teaching experience has benefited us and has taught members to keep up the hard work, Yan said. As of June 2018, the university had served more than 6,500 students in the area, and had raised fund of more than 1.5 million yuan ($218,000). The group also collects information from students whose family have financial difficulties. They have provided them with specific help by sharing that information among alumni, Yan said.
Zhao Lin, deputy secretary of the university's league committee, said the university's voluntary teaching group will continue to offer better education services in western China.
The university will use its strengths to bring more science and technology knowledge to students and people in remote areas, Zhao said.
Yang Fan contributed to the story.
Children take physical classes at a school in Haiyuan county.
(China Daily Global 06/28/2019 page10)