Home> Latest

Teacher gives lesson in caring for students

China Daily| Updated: February 20, 2023 L M S


Gu Hailin (second right) enjoys an evening with students at the vocational school in September.[Photo by Yi Fan/For China Daily]

Gu Hailin, deputy director of the Changxing Vocational and Technical Education Center School, was awarded the title of Good Samaritan of China last month.

On that very day, his students were performing a Uygur dance, with Gu as their "driver and food deliveryman". For him, his students were the best award.

All his students are from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and study at the vocational school in Changxing county, Huzhou city, Zhejiang province.

The school is one of 33 vocational schools across nine provinces and municipalities that provide educational resources to promote the training of talent from all ethnic groups in Xinjiang since 2011.

In September 2011, Gu, then 31, welcomed the school's first batch of 79 students from Xinjiang.

Although having seven years of teaching experience before that, the first challenge for him was to remember all the students' names. After five days of reciting the names, he was able to call each one by their name.


In a hospital, the teacher (right) checks on a student, who was injured doing exercise.[Photo by Yi Fan/For China Daily]

In the summer of 2012, he boarded a train with his students on a 56-hour journey through 5,000 kilometers to Xinjiang, on his first home visit.

Gu has left his footprints on both sides of the Tianshan Mountains, as the students hail from every part of Xinjiang. Over the past 11 years, Gu has accompanied his students on the same trip some 30 times.

In Gu's eyes, school is a "second home" for the students, who have been away from family and stay at the school for about 10 months a year. Taking good care of them is his responsibility.

At the first class of a new semester, Gu asks his students to write down his phone number and call him whenever they need. To get close to students, he eats at the student canteen with them and after school he goes to their dormitories to chat with them. Every month, he organizes a group birthday party for students born in that month.

"We try to make the students feel like home at school," Gu says.

According to the Changxing vocational school, by the end of last year, 624 Xinjiang students had graduated since 2011, among whom 128 were admitted to college and 25 started their own businesses.

The courses are adjusted every year according to the demand of the local job market.

The central government and the county government of Changxing allocate 10,000 yuan ($1,460) and 7,500 yuan, respectively, per student, every year.

Students from Xinjiang not only enjoy free tuition, accommodation, food and school uniforms, but also receive a government grant of 200 yuan per month.


Gu and a student practice arm wrestling. [Photo by Yi Fan/For China Daily]


Gu Hailin dances with his students last month. [Photo by Yi Fan/For China Daily]


Gu and his colleague are on their way to send a student from Xinjiang to a local student's home for the Spring Festival holiday last month. [Photo by Yi Fan/For China Daily]


Gu introduces a "green development" route in Huzhou, Zhejiang province, at the National Vocational Students Skills Competition last year. [Photo by Yi Fan/For China Daily]


The teacher cuts a birthday cake for students born in November. [Photo by Yi Fan/For China Daily]


Abdureshit Ablimit (third left), who graduated from the Changxing vocational school in 2014, shares stories of his days there and his experiences in starting up a business with students from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo by Yi Fan/For China Daily]


Gu gives a thumbs-up to a student's parents on the phone for her dancing skills at the Changxing Grand Theater. [Photo by Yi Fan/For China Daily]