Pic story: young village teacher hopes to help children get out of mountains

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Chen Yanzi tutors her student Qin Xingwang writing characters in classroom at Mawuzhai boarding primary school in Gujiao Township of Lingchuan county, Jincheng City, north China’s Shanxi Province, Sept. 9, 2020. Located in the depths of Taihang Mountains, more than 1,300 meters above sea level, Mawuzhai boarding primary school, with its whole six students, is the only school within a radius of dozens of kilometers. Chen Yanzi, at the age of 25, came here in September 2019 and became a teacher. Chen Yanzi came from the downtown of Jincheng City, and it took more than three hours driving over 100 kilometers to Mawuzhai Village due to the inconvenient transportation. When her parents learned the situation about Mawuzhai boarding primary school, they repeatedly tried to persuade her to give up. However, a little thing confirmed Chen in her decision. “I remember the first day I came here, when I entered the classroom, I saw several big characters written on the blackboard. ‘Welcome, Ms. Chen.’ I was moved to tears,” Chen recalled. Before Chen’s arrival, there were only two teachers, with an average age of more than 50. In college, Chen majored in English. In the school, she has to teach maths, music, sport, art as well as English. “Ms. Chen’s class is very interesting. She often tells us stories outside the mountains,” said Qin Xingwang, a first-year student. Chen Yanzi also grows up with the kids. “I saw how these kids shoulder responsibility of their family at such young age.” On Sept. 1, the new term began in Mawuzhai boarding primary School. Looking into the eager eyes of her six students, Chen hopes to help the children get out of the mountains through her efforts. (Xinhua/Chai Ting)

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