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2015 Rural Preschool Education Workshop Held in Hubei


On September 14th and 15th , 2015, the 2015 Rural Preschool Education Workshop, hosted by Macao Tong Chai Charity Association(Tong Chai), and co-hosted by Thousand Trees Equal Education Partners(Thousand Trees), was held in Mt. Wudang, Hubei Province. During the two-day’s period, the preschool education institutions and organizations from Qinghai, Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi, etc, visited the Thousand Trees’ kindergartens in Danjiangkou city, and deepened their understanding of how to support the rural preschool education in a systematic way by listening to and talking with preschool teachers, headmasters and researchers. In the meantime, the attending institutions and organizations also shared their experience and challenges they faced in their rural preschool education. Through this workshop, a deeper understanding between each other has been achieved and some of them have reached cooperation consensus.

The main topics and discussion of this workshop include:

  • What kind of preschool education projects would work?

We observed affectionate lyrical reading classes and music classes in Liuliping and Lushan town central kindergartens, Danjingkou city. These rural children could listen to teachers’ long stories with full attention, follow the teachers’ guide to beat time to the music. They were even able to distinguish tones of erhu from that of flute. Because of the Thousand Trees’ support, despite living in a remote and rough mountainous region, children there were happy and well developed in every aspect, not inferior to children living in cities. Besides children, headmasters and teachers also moved participants. For example,in spite of the shortage of professional teachers and living in poor conditions, the headmaster of Longshan still spared no efforts to pursue quality preschool education and bring nearby villages’ kindergarten teachers into training together . Both teachers that just graduated from college and middle-aged teachers that transferred from other education posts to preschool education all were willing to honestly raise questions and actively brainstorm solutions.

Exchanges with teachers helped the attending institutions and organizations to realize that only accompanying and targeted teacher training could truly help teachers to grow. And, no matter what projects, only when beneficiaries become owners of the project and turn from the passive side to the self-help side can the project be truly successful.

  • What are our partners doing?

The other issue that the workshop would like to address is: what are our partners doing? Whose lessons can we learn from to help our projects? During the meeting, several institutions and organizations, including China Charities Aid Foundation for Children’s Start Point Project, China Development Research Foundation, Humana People to People China(TPP China), Pensioners for Rural Development Foundation, Guizhou(Pensioners), Chen Xi Center for Child Development in Tiandong County, Guangxi(Chen Xi Center), and Haidong Zongka Charity Association, presented their projects and raised challenges they faced separately.Partners from minority areas sincerely discussed issues of the minority children’s native language development and mandarin learning problems. Almost every institution and organization had severe concerns about the shortage of capable preschool education professionals in the industry of public welfare, while a hard nut to crack for most institutions and organizations was to develop a systematic, sustainable and effective preschool teacher training, which they were eager to do, but didn’t know how to do.

  • How can we cooperate to help more rural preschool children?

The ultimate goal of this workshop is to form a support network for rural preschool education. by making full use of each organization’s expertise in their respective aspect and working together, the goal of improving the quality of rural preschool education and having more children in rural areas to be enrolled in preschools could be achieved. In this meeting, all parties made clear of their needs and strengths, They also hoped that they could make full use of the Thousand Trees’ professional capacities and HPP China, Pensioners, Chen Xi Center’s local influence and practice to popularize systematic preschool teacher training and form a team of local trainers.