A teacher's tale of revolutionary passion

Updated: 2012-09-26 09:22

By He Na and Wang Hongyi (China Daily)

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Yao Yuzhen is often mistaken for a tourist guide because she's usually found wearing a wireless microphone and leading visitor groups at historic sites in Jinggangshan, Jiangxi province.

A teacher's tale of revolutionary passion

But in fact, she's a teacher of a very special group of students. They hail from across China, are of different ages, work in different fields and only receive a short period of training.

However, they all have one thing in common: They play a leading role in their departments, bureaus or high-level government departments.

Thirty-year-old Yao teaches at the China Executive Leadership Academy in Jianggangshan. To help students better understand Party history, spirit and traditions, the school has relocated most of its classes to sites of historical interest.

As the youngest teacher at the academy, one might assume that Yao succumbs to nerves before classes, which often contain provincial or ministry-level officials.

However, she said she's used to the pressure and is never nervous because the students are always modest and eager to learn.

After postgraduate studies in education at Capital Normal University in Beijing, Yao received several good job offers, but eventually she chose to go back to Jinggangshan, her home town.

"Maybe I heard too many revolutionary stories from my grandfather when I was a child. He was a Long March veteran and as the child of a revolutionary family, I feel obliged to spread the tradition," she said.

Yao has only worked at the academy for around two years, but she's already one of the most popular teachers. Her excellent performance has prompted several officials to offer her well-paid jobs, but she has refused all offers. "So many young officials know very little about our history. They will be our country's leaders in the future, so they need to know about these things," she said.

Because student numbers rise year on year, Yao's workload also increases, but she's philosophical: "Although I get very tired and even get a sore throat from talking so much, I like my job. It has real meaning."