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November 2013 Update

Lengshuitan District Maping Agricultural Development Zone Yu-Lang Hope School

Date of Visit: November 11, 2013

Purpose of Visit: Project Completion

Grades: 1-9 (18 classes total)

Since TDF provided funding to the school, other organizations have followed suit and donated as well. This outpouring of funding has allowed the school to repair/construct all of its classrooms, the cafeteria, the school enclosure wall, as well as a deep water well. The school now has an entirely new look. In 2005, the principal introduced a new, highly successful approach to education, emphasizing interaction between teachers and students. According to him, this new method was inspired by Confucius’ Analects, where Confucius would teach his disciples via questions and answers. This new approach is now used for teachers’ training in Hunan. Despite its success, the principal did not seek instruction from his superiors to implement this new method of teaching, but only reported after seeing the results. This year’s conference for Hunan Province’s elementary and secondary school principals will be especially held at this school. The principal is concerned about the complexities of same-grade students who may not be studying/understanding at the same level as their peers. He hopes to adopt an approach more similar to American education, where students can advance based on their proficiency in a subject, rather than based on their overall curriculum or grade.


No. of Students: 677 (207 boarding)

60% of students are “left-behind children.” The elementary school division is ranked amongst the top 10 in Lengshuitan District, and the junior high division is ranked 19th in Yongzhou City. 90% of the junior high students graduate (around 40 students), and of these graduating students, 3-4 make it into provincial-level demonstration high schools [key schools; for exemplary students], 20 enter high school in Lengshuitan District, while the remaining go on to vocational school.


No. of Teachers: 54 (28 elementary, 26 junior high)

Teachers are dedicated to their work. They are also highly specialized in their subjects.


– 18 Classrooms
– Dormitories
– Library: ~60,000 books
– Computer Room: 50 computers (old CRT models)
– Cafeteria: up to 400 person occupancy
– Restrooms: 50 pit-style toilets


Faced with limitations in occupational circumstances and resources, it will be very challenging for teachers’ living conditions to catch up to international standards. Every step towards reform will be difficult.

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