Chinese teen idol shines spotlight on rural education

By Zhang Liying
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 15, 2017
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UNICEF representative to China Rana Flowers and UNICEF Special Advocate for Education Wang Yuan are at a press conference held in Beijing on Nov. 13. [Photo by Zhang Liying/]

UNICEF Special Advocate for Education Wang Yuan has called for increased support to improve the quality of rural education in China so that all children have the opportunity to fulfill their potential and realize their dreams.

"All children have the right to receive high quality education, regardless of where they live, whether they are boys or girls," the member of Chinese pop band TFBOYS told a press conference in Beijing on Nov. 13.

He shared with the press his experience of visiting two child-friendly schools in Sanjiang, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in September. "Many rural schools have run-down classrooms and outdated facilities. However, the ones I visited were modernized with a beautiful school environment and high quality teaching."

The 17-year-old singer and actor was impressed by the benefits that the Child-Friendly Schools program has delivered to the children in rural areas. "It is a pioneering program prioritizing children's interests and it values their psychological well-being."

"Guided by the concept of social and emotional learning, child-friendly schools teach children key skills such as how to get along well with others and work as a team. I think these skills, which are as important as textbook knowledge, can prepare children for the future," said the young Chinese idol who was included in Time Magazine's global top 30 influential teens.

Since he was appointed as UNICEF Special Advocate for Education on June 28, Wang Yuan has been devoted to mobilizing the public for their support in promoting quality education and development for every child in China.

Rana Flowers, UNICEF representative to China, spoke highly of Wang Yuan's efforts. "He has expressed such a passion and concern for education that I think it's a very natural selection for us to work with him."

Jointly launched by the Ministry of Education of China and UNICEF in 2001, the Child-Friendly Schools program has contributed to the development of a child-friendly school model for China, which focuses on improving the quality of education by making it an engaging and stimulating experience for children aged 6-12 years.

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