Wang Muliang, 33, principal of the Dazu Primary School. [Photo by Chen Weisong/China.org.cn]
Wang Muliang, 33, is the principal of a village school in a remote area in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
Dazu Primary School is located in Mukua Village, Lugu Lake Town, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture. Wang spent his childhood in the school. However, it was forced to close down for various reasons in 2000. It was rebuilt five years later with financial aid from two enthusiastic people hailing from Taiwan.
Wang participated in the rebuilding process and was appointed principal in 2011. During the past six years, it has received financial support from personalities from various circles through a public service platform.
He recalled: "When the school was restored, I was only thinking about solving the problem of the children's schooling. Since then, the situation has changed. We cannot just rely on support and donations from the public. We cannot just be content with things as they are."
Wang has six wishes for the future development of his school, involving basic education, poverty alleviation, medical assistance, environmental protection, cultural protection and ecological tourism.
He has his own understanding of basic education, explaining that a school should be a place children yearn for, and they should feel they want to participate in school life of their own accord.
Currently, there are 71 students in six grades, each of which has only one class. There are 12 teachers, 10 of whom work full-time. They work together in all the courses, including mathematics, Chinese, English, art, computers, physical education (PE) and all extracurricular activities.
Wang stresses that Dazu Primary School particularly encourages students to read and that the school library is open not only to the present student body, but also to past graduates and all the local villagers. "A total of 17,000 volumes of books were donated by various people," he explained.
With the joint efforts of teachers and students, Dazu Primary School has made large achievements in recent years. "The average middle school enrollment in the county was 17.9 percent this year, and our school's figure was 40 percent, ranking among the best on the county list," Wang said proudly.
Poverty-alleviation funds from society in the past 12 years have helped more than 2,000 poverty-stricken students distributed in counties across Sichuan and Yunnan.
"Medical assistance projects provide medical treatment for the children who live in mountainous areas and suffer from serious diseases. We established a special fund for children from poor families. In 2014, a local Dazu public service website was established and since then every income and expense have been made public," Wang said.
In one of the extracurricular activities, teachers and students travel to farmland to collect crop stalks for producing organic fertilizer. "The activity aims at raising the environmental awareness of teachers and students and respect for labor," Wang said.
The school also pays attention to local cultural protection. Located in a village mainly inhabited by the Naxi ethnic group, the school offers a special course in Dongba culture to help the children learn about its language, traditional arts, crafts, songs and dances.
Due to his outstanding performance, Wang has won many awards. The volunteer teachers working in Dazu Primary School won a team award for "Most Beautiful Village Teachers," jointly organized by Guangming Daily and CCTV in 2012.
Until now, the Dazu public service fund has received donations valued at 9 million yuan (US$130,800) which have provided financial aid for more than 6,000 students. About 600 people have worked in the village school as volunteer teachers.