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NPC deputy from poor area focuses on rural teachers' living conditions

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-14 09:00

"I'm a deputy from the grassroots, and I need to bring their voices to Beijing."

It's a responsibility that Yang Juanjuan, a deputy to the National People's Congress takes seriously.

Yang, 33, is the village committee director of a poor village called Zhanwang in Xinhua county, Hunan province.

"Being an NPC deputy, it means an honor, a responsibility and a mission."

Yang was born in a rural area and grew up there, but when she visited Zhanwang village in 2010, where her husband was born and raised, she was still shocked by the poverty.

"After raining, the mud on the road would submerge to the ankle, and some villagers have to walk several kilometers to carry drinking water," Yang said.

She has a natural motivation to help villagers live better.

"Our village is less developed, and young people work outside. I always thought to do something for the village."

In 2011, she dropped her migrant work and competed for the village committee director. Villagers gave her their full support at that time, since Yang had many experiences, such as raising poultry and running hotels.

On Jan 31, 2013, Yang was elected as the NPC deputy, becoming the youngest among 119 NPC deputies from Hunan province.

Her motions have focused on poverty relief work in rural areas. This year, she has proposed building more dormitories for rural teachers and updating rural roads.

"There is a huge gap in the standards of the teacher's dormitories in rural areas, and their housing conditions are worrisome," Yang said.

She said that she has investigated the situations of rural teacher dormitories in Xinhua county to find that some teachers have poor living conditions and even live in offices or classrooms.

According to Yang, Xinhua county has 6,736 teachers at 489 rural schools and about 65 percent of them need dormitories. That would require at least 160,000 square meters of dormitories, but there is only about half that.

"The housing difficulty has become the critical factor to stabilize the team of rural teachers, and if it is not solved in time, it will be harder to recruit rural teachers and keep them," Yang said.

Education has been an important part in the country's targeted poverty relief efforts, and Yang believed that a stabilized team of rural teachers will boost the balanced development of education in urban and rural areas.

Yang has suggested that the State Council, China's cabinet, should make special support policies and arrange more special funds to push ahead the construction of dormitories for rural teachers.

In her other motion this year, Yang said that lots of rural roads are of low standard and have poor safety, having become a bottle neck for the economic development in rural areas.

She said many rural roads are only about 3.5 meters wide, difficult for vehicles meeting and navigating sharp turns, while many bridges built in 1960s and 1970s need renovation.

Rural areas are rich in tourism, mineral and agricultural resources, but the roads have slowed the development.

She called on the government to quicken the pace of upgrading rural roads and innovating investment and financing channels for traffic infrastructure construction.

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