Wang Jianlin, 57, is the only teacher at the Changshan teaching site, the most remote teaching site in Huining County of Northwest China’s Gansu Province.
In 1987, his elder brother, a teacher in his hometown, had a sudden illness and called Wang back from Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu, and told him to teach the children in the village while on his deathbed.
The teaching site is poor and remote, and no teachers are willing to come. In order to keep the school running and allow the children to receive a basic education, Wang finally gave up his job at Lanzhou Petrochemical Company after careful consideration.
Since then, he has become the “Kid King” in the mountain village, and has persisted for 33 years on a meager salary.
In his view, farming on barren land is hopeless, and education is the only way to change the destiny of the children, which makes his dedication worthwhile.
In 1997, his eyes became ill from overwork and were unable to see the light. Due to the limited medical conditions in the local area, he continued on teaching with a gauze blindfold as he did not want to delay the progress of the course.
Over time, the condition worsened, and even after treatment, he still suffered from the subsequent flare ups of high myopia and inability to see bright light.
Since the education funds were limited, he made teaching aids himself; he built a new school building on the best flat ground of his house since the old school building was on low-lying land previously; the children needed nourishment for their bodies, so he takes money from his salary to add meals for them.
Over the past 33 years, Wang has taught nearly 300 students, of whom more than 40 have been admitted to the university.
“Every child is my sun,” he said.
(Translated by Zhu Naiqing and edited by Zhan Huilan; original story from Xinhua)