[2011-10-17] President Steve Ting Visited two Jilin Shin Shin SchoolsPresident Steven Ting traveled to Changchun, Jilin to start the Shin Shin school visit journey on October 17, 2011. The purposes of the trip include a) to confirm of a new school (multi-purpose building) construction and its completion schedule, b) to investigate if certain Shin Shin programs being effectively implemented, c) to understand the future needs to further improve the educational environment, d) to foster closer working relationship with Overseas Affair Offices, and e) very importantly, to interact with teachers and students with love and care.
Steve Ting's Trip Report
Visit 1st school today.
After one and half day rest from Anhui (安徽) school visit, I flew to Changchun, Jilin early morning on 10/17. Provincial QB leader Mr. Cui (崔冶处长) met with us in the airport and drove to a school located in the minority region in the city of Siping (四平市铁东区叶赫满族镇) with two hours of driving distance. The multi-purpose building is ¾ done and will be completed next spring, according to the principal and local educational bureau chief. (See the attached photos.) According to the local educational bureau chief 局长 and government leader 区长, the total investment of this multi-purpose building costs RMB 1.9 millions, while our school construction grant is US$10,000 which is equivalent approx. RMB 67,000. Again, the school and local educational leaders are very interested to participate in our ongoing educational programs.
Currently, this school has 120 students (from grade 1-6) who are studying in the neighboring schools while this school is being renovated. When completed next spring, this school will have the capacity of 240 students. We were told that this school would be slowly expanding due to the fact that it is in a minority region (满族) and no other schools close enough to allow merger.
With the brand new building, this school will receive better attention in terms of good quality teachers, according to the educational bureau chief, which is a good news. Currently, the teacher quality of this school is below par, as we were told by the school principal.
This school with upcoming brand new multi-purpose building is looking forward to participate in Shin Shin facility improvement and educational programs, when the renovation is completed.
Visit 2nd school today.
After lunch, we continue our trip to visit 2nd school in a neighboring city, Liaoyuan (遼源市). We actually drove across Liaoning Province (辽宁省) during our trip to the school, BTW. This school is the result of a recent merger. Because of the government policy and decision, the original SS school (富强小学) was merged with this school in August 2010 and the school was then renamed to遼源文祥实验欣欣小学 after merger. Bai Qing visited this school during summer time while the school was in recess.
After merger, a number of our earlier donated facility improvement items were transported to this school, including PCs, desks/chairs, books, projectors, etc, from 2006 to 2010.
According to Principal Mr. Zhang (张文华校长), this school has 879 students, 74 teachers, and 21 classes (14 classes from grade 3-6). (7 students from the original SS school were transferred to this school when the merger took place.) Since it is an experimental school (实验小学), the local government pays special attention to it, which gives Shin Shin an opportunity to “partner” with it in future SS programs. The local educational bureau chief is interested to discuss with us in our “matching” concept.
This school has a PC room 微机室equipped with 44 antiquated PCs. Basically, teacher can only use these PCs to teach some basic computer skills due to outdated operating system (Windows 98), slow CPU speed and minimal memory available. The school and the local educational bureau are interested to participate in Shin Shin’s eLearning program, and a matching mechanism to fund the project can be considered when Shin Shin is ready to implement the eLearning program in more schools. BTW, this school offers two PC classes to their grade 3-6 students (14 classes) per week, and their PC room is pretty much fully utilized 5 days a week.
We attended an English class to understand how effective the lesson was conducted. In the classroom, we engaged happy students with lively interaction. The teacher was quite capable involving students who were responded with enthusiasm. This was a happy and successful experience for us. This English teacher only attended two out of four weeks of ECTT training due to family emergency. We also happily met with another teacher who attended 2011 ECTT English training, and she was appreciative for attending ECTT with positive experience and result. Since we were there late, we did not have an opportunity to witness how she conducts her English class though.
We toured their library. While the books were neatly stacked up in the library, they were rarely touched and read evidently. (See the photo attached.) I encouraged Principal Zhang to take steps to circulate books since they are for reading, not for displaying, which he agreed.
Later in the evening, a formal dinner was hosted by Jilin QB (省侨办) leaders (李征然副主任). On behalf of our Foundation, a Shin Shin banner and annual reports were presented. (See the photo attached.) Mr. Li praised our Foundation highly and committed to work closely with us. Mr. Li, understands the importance of our educational programs and has encouraged Shin Shin to consider establishing 3rd ECTT center in Jilin to serve SS teachers more effectively in the northeast region of China. This is consistent with our strategy.
Tomorrow, we shall head out very early in the morning and look forward to visit another school (吉林省白城市镇赉县坦途镇欣欣小学), which is located 4-5 hours of driving distance away.