Two groups of ECNU students volunteered to teach in Xinjiang and Tibet


A rising number of students from ECNU have volunteered to go to Western areas of China every year to spread advanced educational concepts and ideas. This summer holiday, two groups of students went to Western Chinese provinces, Xinjiang and Tibetplaces with a large proportion of ethnic minorities in China.

Xinjiang Volunteering Teaching

Members of the volunteer group.

After traveling across 4000km for 40 hours, a group made up of two teachers and ten students from ECNU's Faculty of Educationarrived in Machang Village, Hami City in Xinjiang province for a 10-day summer camp featuring national standard language education for children of ethnic backgrounds. Employed with their professional knowledge, cutting-edge facilities and loving hearts for education in Western China, the camp was supported by the village committee in which nearly 100 children took part in thvolunteer group's teaching and learning experiences.

Gulimire·Aerken is teaching children of ethnic backgrounds.

Undergraduate Gulimire·Aerken from Faculty of Education, a native of Xinjiang, who was dedicated to education development of her hometownnot only got to share what she learned at ECNU but also joined in with her 10 classmates of Uighur and Kazak backgrounds to jointly make it come true. Some of the education practices included basic classes like literature, science and nature, public speaking, recitation, choir and calligraphy in addition to its focus on selected reading materials of both narration and exposition based on the age of these children and national standard language basics to improve minority children’s ability of reading, listening and speaking in the standard language.

Students are playing with VR facility.

Equipped with state-of the-art VR technologies and teaching facilities, the volunteers of ECNU conducted their research on the learning programs of the national standard language of minority children in Xinjiang. They sat in on classes in local primary schools, observed education content and methods and interviewed parents on children’s usage of national standard language outside of school.

Members of the volunteer group conducted researches in local people's homes.

Another emphasis during the camp was on the possibility of conducting online courses in the future. Volunteers recorded the coverage of internet facilities in schools and households in Xinjiang, and asked for children and parents’ opinion on the idea of online courses and programs. Volunteers hope to move currently valid offline courses to online platforms, thereby forming a network that is able to connect to the whole Xinjiang Province; this will allow more opportunities for children of Xinjiang provinces.

Mayor of Hami city, Remuzuti·Wubuli, students participating in the summer camp and members of the volunteer group.

Tibet Volunteering Teaching

The 4500km journey - nearly 52 hours by train - from Shanghai to Shigatse that took a group of 33 volunteer students and two teachers finally arrived in Bailang Village, Shigatse in Tibet on July 11th. The ECNU students who participated in this program are members of “Ganglameiduo” Club of Tibetan Culture.

Volunteers are teaching in local primary schools.

They were divided into two small groups to conduct teaching activities in two local primary schools for ten days. This year marked the 8th anniversary of this program which has been held annually since 2011.

Members are divided into two groups to teach in two local schools.

The groups received warm welcome in the train station of Lhasa by graduated Tibetan students of ECNU who once belonged to GanglameiduoClub of Tibetan Culture and have worked here as teachers after leaving ECNU, contributing to the education development of their hometown.

Preparation work for this volunteer groups started three or four months beforehand. Supported by the Department fo Student Affairs, Youth League Committee, and Charity House of ECNU, “Ganglameiduo” Club was able to conduct charity bazaars on campus and accumulated enough funding to donate gifts like stationary sets and set up scholarships for outstanding students here.

During one class meeting, Cirenpuchi from School of Educational Rehabilitation Science as temporary head teacher told vivid stories of the beautiful world outside Tibet to students here who never once travelled far enough to cross the provincial border line. Cirenpuchi received his secondary education in Jinan and Henan and collage education in Shanghai. He encouraged these students with his own experience to dream big and follow through. One student, Cirenjiba, wrote in his dream slip:” I want to be like Cirenpuchi in the future. I want to go to study at ECNU and become a soldier who protects his own country.” Reading these childish words, all sorts of feelings welled up in Cirenpuchi’s mind.

The heart-touching class meeting.

From the year of 2011 to the year of 2018, eight years have elapsed with important events like the 60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet, the 50th anniversary of Tibetan Autonomy, and  the 40th anniversary of Reforming and Opening up. The volunteer group is always there with Tibetan people, developing further and further into rural areas.

During these eight years, not only did the volunteer group bring with them advanced teaching ideas and more interesting cultural lives based on support of ECNU, but also brought back the unaltered voice of Tibetan education, benefiting the training for Normal School Students of Tibetan origins and various Tibet-supporting programs.

During these eight years, the volunteer group has grown bigger and more diverse. There was only one Han student in the first year but now there are near 40 students from various origins besides Tibetan in the group. Seeing for oneself is better than hearing from others. Experience the real Tibet and feel the surge.

Edited by Linla Zhang Proofread by Mayfield Joshua Reviewed by Wenjun Guo


East China Normal University