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Highest school teacher:Zheng Long

By Yang Fan ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2017-03-07

Highest school teacher:Zheng Long
Zheng Long helps students to dress and look smart. [Photo/xinhuanet.com]
At 2,900 meters above ground in Liupanshui city lies Guizhou’s highest primary school, Haiga Primary School.

At such a height, commuting to and from the school is difficult and living conditions are harsh. The school finds it difficult to retain teachers because of this, but its principle of 14 years, Zheng Long, has remained loyal to the cause of improving education there.

“My dream is to make Haiga Primary School a complete school,” said Zheng, who took the job in 2002 when there were two other teachers and 69 students. The school reached new heights (metaphorically) in 2004 when the number of students reached 106.

However, things didn’t last long. The teachers left one after the other and by 2014, only Zheng was the only remaining teacher giving classes to less than 20 students.

With no electricity and access to water at Haiga village, the school isn’t exactly the most attractive teaching post in the country – so teachers can be forgiven for not wanting to remain there for long. To fetch water, teachers and students are required to climb over the mountain in front of the school and carry water back in buckets. Food served in the village is also rudimentary as potatoes are about the only things that grow there.

Despite the hardships, Zheng never thought to give up. Since there are no roads, it takes him at least three hours on foot to reach the school from home. Eventually he chose to live on the mountain and commute home to his wife once a week.

“I must stay. Only if someone insists on staying here is there hope for local education,” said Zheng.

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