Beijing, 13 September 2022 (TDI): Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, President of the People’s Republic of China, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, responded to a letter from Beijing Normal University (BNU) students participating in a teacher training programme on September 7.

In his letter, Xi expressed high expectations for the students, congratulated the university’s faculty, students, and alumni on its 120th anniversary, and sent greetings to teachers across the country ahead of the approaching 38th Teachers’ Day in China, which falls on September 10.

While replying, he stated that “Over the past year since you were enrolled in the program, through course study and offering teaching service in underdeveloped regions, you have enriched your knowledge, broadened your horizon, and hardened the conviction of going down to serve at the grassroots. I am very glad to learn that.”

President Xi stated that Beijing Normal University is China’s first modern teacher-training institution of higher learning, producing many exceptional teachers for the country.

“I hope that you will carry forward the university’s motto ‘Learn, so as to instruct others; act, to serve as an example to all,’ waste no time and study hard, cultivate your moral character and improve your capabilities of teaching students both knowledge and the way of leading a rewarding life.”

He went on to say that “I also hope that you will serve in places where the country and people need you the most after graduation, and work hard to become a qualified teacher with firm ideals and beliefs, moral sentiments, solid knowledge, and benevolence so as to commit yourselves to nurture a new generation of capable young people with moral grounding, intellectual ability, physical vigor, aesthetic sensibility and work skills for the socialist cause.”

It is noteworthy that in 2021, China initiated a specific initiative to train exceptional teachers for disadvantaged communities in its central and western provinces.

The programme is tasked with training approximately 10,000 teachers each year for primary and secondary schools in 832 counties that have either recently emerged from poverty or are located in land border areas in relevant regions under the targeted training mode operated by standard universities directly under the administration of the Ministry of Education.

BNU student representatives in the programme recently penned a letter to Xi in which they described what they had learned since enrolling in the programme and emphasized their intention to educate at the grassroots after graduation.