President's letter to volunteers sparks passionate discussion about volunteerism

08:14, May 27, 2011      

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A letter from Chinese President Hu Jintao to volunteers who are teaching in rural areas has sparked passionate discussion among the country's college students and faculty.

In a letter dated May 10, the president spoke highly of work done by 18 graduate students from Peking University, saying that their volunteer project is an effective way to help young students learn from practice.

Hu said he hopes the university will continue the practice and encourage more young students to volunteer in the future.

Chinese college students and teachers saw the President's letter as a sign of attention and expectation from China's leadership, and also as a sign of support for student volunteers who serve in China's underdeveloped western regions.

Feng Pengfei, a student from Zhengzhou University, said the letter from President Hu made him more determined to take part in a volunteer teaching program.

"I will try to deal with hardships and contribute to the development of the west, just as President Hu said in the letter," Feng said.

Qing Zheng, a student from Beijing Normal University who will be participating in a volunteer teaching project in Xinjiang, said "Many children in the west do not get a good education. As the new generation of college students, we have a responsibility to serve the country in the places where we are needed most."

Those who choose to serve in places where they are most needed should be praised as examples for others, said Zhang Jiaming, an official from the School of Information Engineering of the Wuhan University of Technology.

Zhang said the school will follow President Hu's instructions to facilitate the creation of more volunteer opportunities for its students.

Volunteerism can not only enhance college students' abilities, but also foster a sense of responsibility among them, said Jiang Yuxin, a Communist Youth League official from Shaanxi Normal University.

University students should carry forward a tradition of volunteerism and go to small towns and villages, bringing their talents to the places where they are truly needed, Jiang said.

Qian Xuhong, president of the East China University of Science and Technology, said the university will also follow President Hu's instructions and work hard to cultivate more volunteers.

In a notice to educational authorities and institutions across the country, the Ministry of Education reiterated the importance of educating through real-life experience and called for more efforts to improve students' volunteering habits.

Source: Xinhua
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