CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: Wang Wei
Two students raise the flag at the Beichuan High School opening ceremony in Mianyang, Sichuan, on Wednesday. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com/Andrea Hunt]
An opening ceremony and a brand new campus welcomed students at the start of the fall semester at the reconstructed Beichuan High School in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, built from the generous financial donations both of people here in China and abroad.
It was only two years ago on May 12 that an earthquake devastated the area and tragically claimed the lives of 1300 students and teachers from this school alone.
Andrea Hunt has more:
Music echoed throughout the campus as a procession of students proudly wearing their yellow school uniforms gathered at the enormous school track at Beichuan High School.
The ceremony included song presentations by the students, speeches by financial supporters and school administration officials, as well as inspiring words from two students who were both injured in the earthquake.
Principal Liu Yachun expressed his gratitude for those involved in the school's reconstruction effort that started last May 12, a year after the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake.
"Today is a brand new start for Beichuan high school. Thanks to all who donated, as you not only gave money, but have also shown a deep love of country and education here for the Chinese people."
Mr. Wang Hou Zeng, a senior engineer from the All China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese has been overseeing the construction and funding allocation for the project.
"The Beichuan High School covers an area of 225 hectares and has a building area of 72,000 square meters and can accommodate 5,200 students in total. The whole school has four dormitories, three big teaching buildings, an administrative building and an auditorium. In total, there are ten main buildings."
However, having new facilities and infrastructure is just the beginning.
Teacher Qiu Jin has been pleased with the teaching assistance received from other provinces, but other challenges remain.
"Now there are more teachers in our high school, but many are young and the average age is around twenty-five years old. The new is indeed a very big opportunity for us, but is also a very big challenge, so we do need teachers from other provinces to provide guidance and experience."
Even so, a young female student says she is inspired.
"The new school, I think it's very beautiful, because many people from all over the world, they have done so much for us today. So, I think we should study hard and learn that this and what others do for us is very precious."
The road up ahead isn't going to be an easy one, because it's not just about newly laid brick, fresh paint and new uniforms, but it is an opportunity for a better future up ahead.
Traditional Guqin The guqin, a seven-stringed plucked zither, is China's oldest stringed instrument.
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