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> Beijing Normal University ZHENYU Education Fund
振豫农村小学教师培训项目,专注河南农村贫困地区小学教师培训,力求育成“种子”教师,带动周边地区教育水平提升,促进师生共同成长。

Brief introduction:  Beijing Normal University ZHENYU Education Fund was initiated (Dr. Eric Xu) in Beijing Normal University(BNU) with a primary donation of 2,500,000 RMB (around $403,929) in 2006.With a mission “to vitalize Education in Henan Province by fostering excellent talents”, the ZHENYU Fund will be fully used in supporting the education development in Henan Province and is under the management of the Beijing Normal University Education Foundation. In order to further exploit Beijing Normal University’s educational advantages, share the positive experiences of ZHENYU Fund in programs that train rural teachers and benefit more rural teachers in poor areas. In 2010, the fund raised 8,000,000 RMB (around $1,291,572) to ensure the continuous development of the program for training primary school teachers in rural area of Henan Province.

 

ZHENYU Program of Training Primary School Teachers in Rural Area

ZHENYU Program was launched in April, 2007. Prof. Liang Wei, a researcher and vice executive dean of Capital Fundamental Education Institute of BNU, heads the program and acts as the chief expert. With quality educational resources from BNU and others all over the country, ZHENYU program aims to provide effective training that accurately meets the demands from the teachers who teach multiple subjects or grades in poor areas (State or provincial level poverty counties) in Henan Province. Trainings are held during the summer holidays.

The training courses in ZHENYU Program are tailor-made for the participating teachers.These teachers have difficult teaching tasks, few training chances and poor teaching conditions. The courses focus on common knowledge training, new teaching concepts, professionalism, and the specific explanation of course standards, analyzing the textbooks and teaching skills and case studies for subjects like Chinese, Math, English, Morality and Society, P.E., Music and Art. To ensure the effectiveness of the training, experts developed a “one chalk-one blackboard” teaching model with a focus on local, interesting, vivid, simple and easy-to-learn contents. The lessons in Music, P.E. and Art classes were easy to practice, and the teaching materials came from the rural children’s daily lives, making it possible for the teachers to use the same lessons in their classes.

With the instruction and support from Beijing Normal University, The Education Department of Henan Province and the Management Committee of ZHENYU Education Fund, ZHENYU Program has been carried out in many areas in Henan Province such as Zhumadian City, Jiaxian County of Pingdingshan City, Jiyuan City, Xuchang City, Songxian County of Luoyang City, Nanyang City and Zhoukou City. In total over 3700 teachers have received training, and the number of beneficiary teachers has been over 5,000. Both local educational departments and participating teachers have given positive feedback, which shows the program has successful social effects. The Education Department of Henan Province included ZHENYU Program as a working priority, which means the government will provide more support and commitment to this program in the future.

During these years ZHENYU program has formed its unique features: social elites donating to their hometowns wanting to develop local education; special care for teachers in poor areas overcoming their unique challenges and demands; outstanding experts dedicated in the training and instruction of others, and scientific, effective and humane management that ensures maximum utilization of resources. It is here that the contribution from society, the resources from universities and the support from local government are building a program that together will serve fundamental education.

The main features of ZHENYU Program:
★the participatory principles
★the well-directed trainings
★the practical-effect methods
★the diverse contents

The main achievements of ZHENYU Program:
★it forms a partnership among society, universities and government
★it creates a new innovative and improving training model
★it enhances the development of local teacher trainings
★it motivates the mutual growth of the teachers and students
★it makes extensive social influence

Outlook:
It was underlined in the National Education Reform and Development of Long-term Planning Programs (2010-2020) that “the education equality is the base of social fair”. Reports to the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC also recommended enhancing educational fair as an important aspect in serving the people with a satisfactory education. There are many things to do to evolve education equality, among which the most important is to improve the overall quality of the team of middle and primary school teachers. There are many teachers in poor areas who teach many subjects or many grades at the same time; however the limited training opportunities are always allocated to the “Backbone Teachers” instead of them, so ZHENYU Program specially serves these teachers. This is a really important program because it provides equal and balanced development of education. Looking at the future, ZHENYU Program will continue to focus on the practical effect of its training, paying attention to every single teacher in rural areas and thus ensuring every student in rural areas grows and benefits. To reach the goal, two areas must be improved:
★ to make the teaching process instruction more practical and develop training resources for teachers
★ to make the training in sections and to foster “Seed Teachers”

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