捐款人快讯 2015年6月号 Donor Newsflash June 2015

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芝加哥活动预告/Upcoming Event in Chicago

7月18日,大芝加哥地区小组将协同旅美中国科学家工程师专业人员协会及当地各大校友会,联合在Palatine郊区推出一年一度的夏季野餐会,届时会有OCEF展台并有义工帮助解答有关基金会的问题,还有精彩文艺节目与各种娱乐活动。欢迎芝加哥地区的捐款人报名参加(注册网址:http://acse.org/2015picnic/),注册时请选择OCEF组织。

On July 18, OCEF Chicago Group will partner with the Association of Chinese-American Scientists and Engineers and the alumni associations of various schools to host an annual picnic in Palatine. There will be an OCEF booth with volunteers available to answer questions about OCEF, along with great performances and recreational activities. Please register at http//:acse.org/2015picnic/, and be sure to select OCEF as your affiliation when prompted.

北加分会活动/Northern California Chapter Event

6月14日,OCEF北加分会在Foothills Park举办了BBQ野餐会。这是一次温馨的家庭式聚会,有近一百名义工、捐款人和朋友参加。大家带来精心烹饪的食物一起分享,很多家庭是三代同堂,其乐融融。青少年义工在一旁带领着十几个小朋友做游戏,不时传来快乐的笑声。草地上十几幅图片展版系统地展示了基金会在不同层面的助学项目,吸引了许多朋友驻足浏览。炭火燃起后,除了义工,许多捐款人也一起在炙热的炉火旁帮助烧烤美食。餐后,不少朋友一起登上旁边的小山,俯瞰湾区美景,大家相约在下半年一起为基金会的筹款活动出力。暑假期间,有许多的义工和捐款人正在或者即将回国去各助学点走访,相信他们能够感受到基金会多年工作的助学成果,并体会到仍然有很多的学校和学生需要帮助。祝所有的朋友暑假平安、愉快!

On June 14, OCEF Northern California Chapter organized a BBQ picnic at Foothills Park. It was a family-style gathering and nearly 100 volunteers, donors and friends participated. There was plenty of delicious home-made food, and many families brought three generations to enjoy the event together. Youth volunteers led kids in a variety of games that filled the park with laughter. Over a dozen display boards showcased assistance programs OCEF had launched, which attracted many viewers. Volunteers and donors alike braved the heat to man the barbecue stove. After the picnic, many participants stayed and hiked up a nearby hill to enjoy the bay area scenery. A pledge was made by all to spare no efforts in the fundraising events to be organized in the second half of the year. Many volunteers and donors are visiting OCEF-sponsored schools during summer or plan to do so soon. We believe they will witness firsthand the difference OCEF has made in the past and appreciate that still many more schools and students are in need of help. We wish everybody a safe and happy summer!

广西助学记/Visit to OCEF-Sponsored Schools in Guangxi

作者:OCEF捐款人远峰
By Yuanfeng, OCEF Donor

6月16日,我们和另外一家美国来的华人四口之家于走访了OCEF资助的广西融水县和睦乡木村小学。从柳州驱车近200公里,沿着省道就到了融水县,过了县城还要开20几分钟才到了学校。

随行的敏敏是OCEF的义工,负责广西地区的学校。敏敏经常下乡,每次差不多要5天。很多地方连手机信号都没有。给OCEF打工的确辛苦:像敏敏这样的几乎是全职的义工,也只能报销住宿费车费和每天30元的伙食费。

木村小学就在省道旁边。进入大门是一个水泥铺的篮球场。敏敏说以前是烂泥地,一下雨就没办法玩。后来是村里一个企业出钱,村子里出力,才修了这个操场。有两排校舍,其中一排是老房子,已属危房。但学前班的小朋友还在使用。另外一排是新建的砖房。一、二年级一个教室,三、四年级一个教室。一共三个老师,其中秦老师已经在这工作18年。三个办公桌并排放在一起,就是老师办公的地方。

木村小学在镇上教学质量名列前茅。据敏敏说,秦老师来之前学校也是脏乱差。秦老师下了很大的功夫纠正学生的行为,之后学习成绩自然就上来了。敏敏介绍说,很多学校虽然有编制但老师不够,原因是干得好的老师会被政府抽调走,人不教书但位置没有空出来。代课老师转正的机会就没有。在融水地区,代课老师月收入在900元左右,除去保险等必须缴的费用,到手的也就800左右。年轻的老师通常转行去打工赚钱。留下的老师很多都是年龄较大的。年龄大的问题就是对于新观念新技术接受慢。比如有老师花了一年时间才学会用电脑打字发邮件。木村小学现在硬件设施还说得过去,这里既有OCEF的捐助,也有秦老师他们的努力:教室里的书架和桌椅很多是秦老师知道有镇上的企业淘汰家具时要过来的。

我们到的时候正好是中饭时间。广西推行学生营养午餐计划,小学生可以有免费午餐。还配有营养奶。学生们吃完饭自己洗碗,非常懂事。

午休后我们和学生们一起活动。我们给每个学生都准备了一份文具小礼物。然后给他们读书,邀请他们问问题。一开始他们还很害羞,但慢慢地他们开始举手问我们问题。其中一个问题是:外面的世界好吗。

下午四点,学生们准备放学回家。秦老师说,他们家远的要走一个小时才能到家。大的学生在队伍前面照顾小的学生。出门前,学生们大声说:“注意安全!我们都是好学生!”在大太阳底下,学生们沿着马路旁向家走去。

秦老师在空旷的操场上给我们家拍了照片,感谢我们的到来。其实应该感谢秦老师这样的扎根基层的老师。随着经济的发展,即使是偏远地区的学校硬件设施也慢慢开始有了,但师资水平是大问题。敏敏说山区里的学校,甚至有的只有一个老师。现在广西开始实施师范毕业生下基层一两年的措施,以缓解师资问题。OCEF也组织教师培训,被选中的老师可以得到资助免费参加。

第二天我们家去融安县大浪塘小学。大浪塘小学在山里,下了省道还要沿江边的土路开30几公里。大浪塘小学秦校长今年51岁,三年前调到大浪塘,第一件事就是修了围墙,因为学校就在江边,而学生玩耍容易跌落江里。我们车开到大浪塘乡,还要坐船渡江才到学校。

和木村小学比,大浪塘学生更多。但一样的是老师年龄普遍偏大。好在有两个下乡的年轻老师。但英语美术体育音乐这些课是开不出来的。很多学生家住在山里,所以平时要住校。小小年纪就要照顾自己。

学校大楼是香港一个企业捐赠建筑的,还有图书室和阅读室。学生们在学校吃中饭。我们吃了学生的午饭,今天还有加餐:一个煮鸡蛋。学生宿舍比较简陋。一张床甚至要睡三个人:因为人小,可以横过来睡。据秦校长说,学生们喝水是个问题。因为没有过滤水的设备,学生们只得喝生水,有时会拉肚子。老师办公室里的饮水机也老旧了。午饭后一些男生在玩篮球。操场上有几只狗,很乖,敏敏告诉我这些狗是学生家里的,平常跟着学生上学。我走进四年级一班的教室,想和里面的学生聊聊天,男生们都跑出去,然后在窗户旁边看我。

秦校长说大浪塘小学马上有几个老师要退休了。教师会是一个大问题。送我们回来开车前,他还在道边的小卖店买了几罐红牛饮料给我们。他说他工作30年,现在的工资不过2500多。敏敏说贵州教师的工资平均要比广西的高出2-3倍。教师待遇不上去,要留住人才始终不乐观。而教育人才不足,受影响的不只是一代学生而可能是若干代学生。这才是大问题。

告别时秦校长握住我的手说有空多来看看。

我们会的。

On June 16, my family and I visited an OCEF-sponsored school in Rongshui, Guangxi, along with another Chinese family of four from the U.S. Rongshui is about 200 kilometers from the City of Liuzhou, and the school we visited, Mucun Elementary School, is another 20 minutes of driving from the county seat.

Minmin, the volunteer who accompanied us on the trip, is the OCEF point of contact for schools in Guangxi. She visits rural schools very often, and a typical trip takes five days. Many of the locations she visits do not even have mobile phone signals. Though she works almost full-time for OCEF, she only gets reimbursed for lodging, transportation and 30 RMB a day for meals.

Mucun School sits right by the provincial highway. Lying just inside the main gate is a concrete-paved basketball court. Minmin told us it that used to be a muddy field where no activities could be planned when it rained. Later an entrepreneur in the village provided the funds and the villagers furnished the labor to build the current playground. There are two rows of classroom buildings, one of them is rather old and is classified as being dilapidated, but it is still being used by the preschoolers. The other row consists of newly constructed brick buildings, where the 1st and 2nd grades share one classroom while the 3rd and 4th grades share another. There are three teachers at the school, including Teacher Qin, who has been there for 18 years. Three desks lined up serve as the teachers' office.

Mucun School is one of the top-performing schools in the area. According to Minmin, the school used to be poorly run until Teacher Qin devoted a lot of efforts to improve the students' behavior. Once that was done, great academic performance followed. Minmin also mentioned that despite the official student-teacher ratio guideline, many schools did not have enough teachers as the best performers tend to be “borrowed” by local government agencies for other purposes without vacating their teaching positions, and thus the alternate teachers cannot get official appointments.

In Rongshui area, alternate teachers make about 900 RMB per month, which comes further down to about 800 RMB after the normal deductions, such as insurance premium. It is not unusual for young teachers to change jobs for better income. As a result, the remaining teachers are typically older and find it more challenging to learn new skills. It took over a year for some teachers to learn how to type and send e-mails on a computer. Currently, the “hardware” at Mucun School is in relatively good shape thanks to both donations from OCEF and efforts made by the teachers. For example, Teacher Qin got a lot of desks, chairs and bookshelves from local companies when they upgraded their furniture.

It was lunch time when we arrived. Under the nutritious lunch program in Guangxi, elementary school students get their lunches for free, milk included. The kids are very well mannered and cleaned up their dishes after lunch.

After nap time, we participated in student activities. We prepared some stationary sets as gifts for the students. Then we read to them and invited them to ask questions. The students were quite shy at the beginning, but they soon warmed up and raised their hands. One of the questions was: How is the world outside?

At 4 PM, students were getting ready to go home. Teacher Qin told us that some kids lived as far as one hour away. The older kids helped care for the younger ones. Before setting off, the students all shouted: "Safety first! We are good students!" Then they went along under the bright sunshine.

Teacher Qin took some pictures for my family on the empty basketball court and thanked us for visiting. However, I felt it was us who should thank Teacher Qin for persevering. With the recent economic development, the “hardware” has been greatly improved even in the schools in remote areas, but it remains a huge challenge to retained qualified teachers. Minmin told us that some schools in mountainous areas had just one teacher. Over the last few years, Guangxi started a policy to have graduates from normal institutes practice for 1-2 years in schools with urgent needs to improve the situation. OCEF also organizes training programs for teachers and selected teachers are able to participate for free.

The next day, my family and I visited Dalangtang Elementary School in Rong'an County. The school is in the mountains, accessible only by a 30-kilometer dirt road from the nearest provincial highway. The principal of the school, also named Qin, is 51 years old and took the job three years ago. The first thing he did there was to build a wall around the schoolyard because the school is right by a river and the students could fall into the river easily when they play around. For us, that river meant a ferry ride after the long drive to reach the school finally.

There are more students at Dalangtang School than at Mucun School, and they face similar challenges in terms of an aging teacher population. Fortunately, Dalangtang has two young visiting teachers at the moment, but there is no teacher available for classes such as English, art, PE or music. Many students live in deep in the mountains, so they board at school and have to take care of themselves from a very young age.

The main building of the school was funded by a company in Hong Kong, and it is equipped with a library and a reading room. Students have lunches in school and we joined them. There was even a treat that day: a hard-boiled egg. Dorm rooms are quite simple, sometimes three students share one bed, since they are small and can sleep across the bed. Principle Qin told us that water sanitary was an issue because there is no filtering equipment, so the students have to drink tap water and sometimes it causes diarrhea. The water cooler in the teacher's office is very old. After lunch the boys played basketball. We saw a few well-behaved dogs on the playground. Minmin explained that they were the students’ pets and followed the students to school. I went into a 4th grade classroom and tried to chat with the students. All the boys ran out and watched me through the window.

Principal Qin told us a few teachers would be retiring soon and it would be difficult to replace them. Before escorting us back to the provincial highway, he bought a few Red Bull drinks for us. He said his salary was about 2500 RMB a month, after 30 years of service. Minmin pointed out that teachers on average made roughly 2-3 times more in neighboring Guizhou Province than in Guangxi. Without improving teacher benefit, it will always be hard to keep them on the job. The lack of quality teachers will affect not just one generation of students, but many generations to come. That is the biggest problem.

When we bid each other good-bye, Principle Qin held my hand and invited us to come back in the future.

We will.

 

第19期(2015年6月)/No. 19 (June 2015)
组稿:杨敏 英译:何雪炀 编校:汤柏
Compiled by Catherine Yang Translated by He Xueyang Edited by Tang Bai

海外中国教育基金会/Overseas China Education Foundation

地址/Address: P. O. Box 772436, Houston, Texas 77215-2436, USA
电话/Telephone: (281) 506-2018 电子邮件/e-mail:
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捐款链接/To make a donation to OCEF: http://ocef.org/donation

了解更多OCEF义工工作/To learn more about OCEF volunteers and their work:
http://www.ocef.org/publication/vol-newsflash

Overseas China Education Foundation
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