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Teacher's commitment to his class continues past retirement

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-09-14 07:46
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Dong Zhuwen, a 63-year-old teacher, gives students a Chinese lesson at a primary school in Chagan village, Chaling county, Hunan province, on Tuesday. [Photo by Chen Zeguo/Xinhua]

Dong Zhuwen, a 63-year-old rural teacher, starts his day early by shopping at a grocery store to prepare lunches for his students, and on the way to school, he usually picks up several members of his class.

Dong has been teaching and taking care of his students for 43 years.

Unlike his primary school peers in urban areas, Dong only teaches pupils in the first and second grades, as village schools deep in the mountains of Central China's Hunan province are usually only built to meet the most basic educational needs of the sparsely-populated neighborhoods.

After completing their tenure at the village schools, students will go on to continue their studies at schools in the nearest town.

This year, Dong is in charge of all the courses for 15 students in a primary school in the village of Chagan in Chaling county.

Dong says most of the students who get enrolled into the school are children that have been left behind by their parents who leave to seek higher-paying jobs in big cities.

"I firmly believe that no matter how poor a family is, they must invest in their children's education. Going to school is their best path out of the mountains," he says.

Dong has taught thousands of students, and whenever a student shares with him good news, such as their being admitted by a high school or university, he feels a great sense of achievement.

"There is nothing happier for a teacher," Dong says.

In 1977, he graduated from high school and started his career as a Chinese teacher. He adapted quickly to the job, and the academic performance of his students is usually the best in the town.

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