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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 prints test papers for students. [Photo/xinhuanet.com]
Highest school teacher:Zheng Long

Students attend class at Haiga Primary School, the highest in Guizhou province. [Photo/xinhuanet.com]

Zheng was eventually appointed principle of nearby Lazhai Primary School in 2014 when another teacher agreed to assume teaching responsibilities at Haiga Primary School, and he could only return to the hilltop school once a week.

“I felt very sad when I accepted this assignment,” said Zheng. “It was very frustrating to see the school go into a decline because there was nothing I could do.”

However, in a stroke of luck, Zheng got to know three young teachers at Lazhai Primary School and managed to persuade them to go to Haiga with him after finishing their tenure in Lazhai.

“Most of the people in Haiga village are living in poverty and education is their chance to get out of their impoverished situation,” Zheng told the young teachers.

At times when there haven’t been enough teachers to provide classes in Haiga, parents have to send their children to schools at the foot of the mountain, costing at least 5,000 yuan a year and causing added burden to their already strained lives.

To get more students back to the village, the teachers visited each household one by one to assure the parents that they wouldn’t leave the school in the short term, like previous teachers had done. Through their efforts, the school now has 70 students.

“Actually we don’t want to send our children to other places. The teacher’s sincerity made me decide to transfer my two boys back,” said Wen Guiquan.

The school only has enough provisions to teach grade one to four, but it hopes to set up grade five and six in the next two years, according to Zheng.

Zheng’s tireless efforts have also brought hope for local villagers. Sixty eight-year-old Wen Zhengfang has two grandsons who recently transferred back to Haiga. She said she doesn’t want the new generation to be illiterate like their parents.

“I totally agree with Principal Zheng and will support him,” Wen said.

Edited by Jacob Hooson

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