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Saluting rural teachers

By Zhang Yue ( China Daily ) Updated: 2012-09-10 09:11:36

Saluting rural teachers

Zhang Baofu teaches many students in a cornfield in Xiaodianhe village outside Henan province's Xinxiang city because the school is in a remote mountainous area. Photos Provided to China Daily

Saluting rural teachers

Middle school teacher Zhang Leipeng, who lost his left arm in a childhood car accident, gives math classes in Pinglu county, Shanxi province. Photos Provided to China Daily

Saluting rural teachers

Retired teacher Lin Jianping still gives physical education courses in Dazhe county in Zhejiang province's Lishui. Photos Provided to China Daily

Editor's note: Today is Teacher's Day. On this special day, China Daily is honoring the country's rural teachers, who face incredible challenges to offer underprivileged children brighter futures.

Related: One devoted instructor makes a huge difference for a tiny student body in a remote area of Liaoning

The page's photographs are collected from an exhibition organized by China Central Television and Guangming Daily newspaper. China has 8.4 million teachers working in the countryside, according to the show's organizers. Each image has an incredible story behind it.

On Sept 8, they were unified for the first time by an online platform that enables them to share teaching materials and methods.

They need all the help they can get. Rural teachers and students face formidable challenges. They must often make treacherous journeys to their schools, combat high drop-out rates exacerbated by poverty and deal with the absences of parents who are working in cities.

These teachers not only provide instruction to their students but also care for them like parents. Such hardships have led to a shortage of teachers in the countryside.

When the earthquake struck Yunnan province's Zhaotong on Sept 7, one rural teacher saved four of his students by digging through the ruins with his bare hands.

This heroic deed is perhaps a metaphor for what these teachers do every day - work for which they deserve tribute.

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