The extraordinary tale of Wang Zhijun, the 'Ferry Teacher'

By Liu Kun in Wuhan and Zheng Caixiong | | Updated: 2024-03-14 15:10
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Wang Zhijun ferries a student to school. [Photo provided to]

Zheng Jun, president of Hubei University of Education, recently shared the story of the "Ferry Teacher of the Mountains" Wang Zhijun during the country's two sessions period. Zheng is a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, China's top political advisory body.

Wang's is an inspiring story of resilience. The 48-year-old has been teaching at a humble rural school in Chongyang county, Hubei province, for more than 28 years. His classroom is upstream from Qingshan Reservoir, surrounded by water on three sides and is difficult to reach.

Wang's school, the only one in the rural village, has been destroyed by rainstorms and has undergone reconstruction and relocation over the years.

Undaunted, Wang treated the school as his home and bought a small wooden boat to help ferry students from remote areas so they could make it to school on time.

When the weather is terrible or the water level is too high, Wang invites his students to stay and eat with him in safety.

"Some students, sometimes, even lived there for more than a week when their parents couldn't come get them. The children consider it as their second home," Wang said.

Over the years, Wang had several opportunities to be transferred to the town to teach, but he said he would worry about the children in the remote areas.

Under Wang's guidance, 46 students from the rural village, with a population of 800, have been admitted to universities and colleges.

"I just want to send more students out of the mountains so that they can go higher and farther. I also hope they can return to help grow their hometown after completing their university studies," he said.

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