Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Chinese president, and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visited Beijing Yuying School on Wednesday morning ahead of International Children’s Day, which falls on June 1. Xi extended festival greetings to children across the country while visiting teachers and students of the school. He stressed that children are the future of the country and the hope of the nation, and urged Chinese children in the new era to have high aspirations and dreams, enjoy studying and love manual labor, be grateful and kind, and have the courage to innovate and strive. He also emphasized that they should develop the qualities of sound moral grounding, intellectual ability, physical vigor, aesthetic sensibility and work skills, and expressed his hope that they should aspire to study for contributing to the building of a strong country and national rejuvenation, and live up to the expectations of their parents, the Party and the people.
Xi was accompanied by Cai Qi and Ding Xuexiang, members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Cai is director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee, and Ding vice premier of the State Council.
Beijing Yuying School was launched in Xibaipo, Hebei Province in 1948, and it used to be the Yuying Primary School of the Supply Department for Organs Under the CPC Central Committee. With care and concerns of old-generation revolutionaries over the past 75 years, the school has fully implemented the education principles of the CPC to make it its fundamental task to foster virtue through education, innovated school systems, introduced distinctive educational approaches, and guided students to seek all-round development in moral grounding, intellectual ability, physical vigor, aesthetic sensibility, and work skills.
Upon his arrival, Xi walked into the School History Hall to learn about the school’s history, development and the work it has done in recent years to carry out educational reform and innovation, implement the policy of “reducing the burden of excessive homework and after-school tutoring for students” and promote students’ development in moral grounding, intellectual ability, physical vigor, aesthetic sensibility as well as work skills. Xi pointed out that the basic task of education is to foster virtue, and nurture builders of and successors to the cause of socialism with sound moral grounding, intellectual ability, physical vigor, aesthetic sensibility and work skills. He emphasized that students should be cultivated in ideals and convictions, moral character, knowledge and intelligence, and physical and mental strength, none of which is dispensable. It takes time for the “double reduction” policy to yield substantive results, hence sustained efforts must be made in this regard, he said. Work should be done to guide parents, schools and the society as a whole to raise awareness about it, put into practice the requirements for the “double reduction” policy and promote students’ well-rounded development. Yuying School has glorious revolutionary traditions and distinctive revolutionary heritage. More work should be done to educate the students on revolutionary traditions, so that all of them can bear in mind the glorious history of Yuying School, always remember the care of the Party, carry forward revolutionary traditions and heritage, steadfastly follow the Party and its guidance, and aspire to develop themselves into talent for the Party and the country.
Xi then walked around the campus for inspection. On the basketball court, the students were having their PE class. Some of them were playing basketball while others doing rope skipping. Xi noted that adolescence is a golden period to strengthen constitution and improve health. Developing sound constitution is the most important. Good health is solid foundation for future study and work, he said. Engaging in sports and exercise is the most effective way to strengthen children’s constitution. With much better living conditions, it’s not good for children to be overweight, but they should be healthy and strong, he added. Children should start regular exercise from a very young age. The more they participate in sports and exercise, the less chance they become overweight or have vision problems. Xi said that it is important to staff schools with sufficient and capable PE teachers, and families, schools and the society should provide support for teenagers and children to improve their physical fitness.
Then Xi came to the students’ farm, where students practice farming and planting. In the sunshine and on the field ridges, rows of green vegetable seedlings were growing well. Holding buckets, shovels, rakes and brushes, the children were watering, loosening soil, weeding and pollinating for tomatoes, and cucumbers, among others. Xi stressed that a lot of knowledge and truth come from labor and life. It is beneficial to their study if children are guided to have the awareness of engaging in manual labor, develop the habit of working, and improve abilities in this regard from an early age. Xi said that nowadays, some urban children lack contact with rural areas and nature, and many of them “can neither toil with their limbs nor tell the five grains apart.” They can’t tell what crops they eat, where they come from and how they have grown, as a result, they cannot understand the line from the Chinese poem that “Who knows the rice that feeds is the fruit of hard toil.” Xi told the students that learning about nature starts with learning about the plants around them. The various plants cultivated by the students, although described in books, will teach them more when they personally sow, nurture, and closely observe them. Xi hoped that through learning agriculture, the students can experience the hardships of farming and the challenges faced by farmers. He also expected them to love manual labor, cherish food, and respect nature from a young age, in order to contribute to building a beautiful China. In the new era, the development of ecological civilization must start from the education of children. By having personally experience, and gain a perception in lively labor courses, children will be able to embrace from an early age the concept that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets.
Cheerful voices could be heard from the second-floor science classroom of Sicong Building. Xi entered the classroom, where the teachers and students told the general secretary that they were using their knowledge of linear motion, curvilinear motion, and motion on an inclined plane to design and build roller coaster models with building blocks for verification. Xi pointed out that science experiments are an effective way to cultivate children’s scientific thinking, their interest in exploring the unknown, and their awareness of innovation. He hoped that the students would pursue technological innovation and contribute to a strong nation from an early age, become young scientists at present and great scientists in the future, making contributions to building the country’s self-reliance and strength in high-level science and technology.
Xi then visited teachers in charge of fifth-grade students at their office where the teachers were discussing and preparing for their lessons. He asked about the after-class services and the arrangements and structures of curriculum. Xi noted that the education system featuring socialism with Chinese characteristics is a good one, and the basic education in China has advantages in the world. He stressed the need to remain confident in our own culture, and do a good job both in upholding what is good in our own education and drawing on what is good of foreign education. It is essential to keep abreast of the times and keep development open to broaden children’s horizons and let them have an inclusive mind, Xi said. He encouraged teachers to work harder to cultivate backbones for our country who are capable of shouldering the mission of national rejuvenation and accomplishing miracles in the world. Xi stressed that good teachers are the key to cultivating talent. All the teachers should keep firmly in mind the original aspiration and mission of cultivating talent for the Party and the country, follow the examples of “People’s Teachers,” and always conduct themselves by virtue, and run schools and teach by virtue. It is also imperative to create an environment where teachers enjoy public respect and education has public support, and teacher becomes one of the most respectable and admirable occupations, in which more talent will have the enthusiasm to participate, and as a result, more and more excellent teachers will emerge.
The teachers and students bid farewell to Xi at a small square of the school. Xi wished the children healthy growth and extended festive greetings to all children across the country by wishing them a happy International Children’s Day. “I paid a special visit to you at Beijing Yuying School today to celebrate the Children’s Day. I’m delighted to see that you are innocent, lively and full of vigor with happy smiles,” He said. The CPC Central Committee has always cared for the healthy growth of children and has implemented a series of policies and measures to create a better environment for their healthy growth and development. Xi said he believes that with the leadership of the CPC and the remarkable advantages of the socialist system, children of all ethnic groups living in the big family of the Chinese nation will become happier and have a brighter future. He urged Party committees and governments at all levels, and all sectors of society to do a good job in various tasks related to the development of children’s undertakings, care for and help children from poor families, especially orphans and disabled children, so that all children can feel the care and concern of the Party and the government and have a happy and beautiful childhood.
Xi Jinping said to the students, “Today’s children are the successors to and the main force of the great cause of building a strong nation and achieving national rejuvenation. In order to build our country into a powerful modern socialist country in all respects by the middle of this century, our generation is now working hard towards this goal, and it will be up to you to continue the struggle in the future.”
Xi Jinping wished all parents good health and happiness, and hoped that teachers would make new contributions in their sacred positions.
Yin Li, secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, and leading officials of the relevant central Party and government departments, and leading officials from the Beijing Municipal Government were on the inspection tour.