La Salle Study Centre Changjiao

December 2013 Newsletter






La Salle Study Centre – 4th Quarter Report – Oct-Nov-Dec 2013

Greetings from La Salle House, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Peace and Joy is within you.

This is my 4th Quarter and final report for this year 2013. Those of you who have been accompanying me, supporting me and working with me on this Project Mission China – La Salle Study Centre, Changjiao, already know that we had a very busy and successful year 2013 as we hit the national stage as one of ten awardees on the occasion of China’s National Teachers’ Day celebration on 10th September in a programme organized and co-sponsored by CCTV-Beijing and Kwang Ming Bao, Beijing. I was in Beijing for a week hosted by CCTV-Beijing and Beijing Institute of Education.

After the hectic summer programme and then the trip to Beijing, we settled down to a routine schedule of weekend tuition classes, teaching twice a week in our village primary school and regular night classes, Mondays to Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. for adults. Registration for the new academic year in China is always on the last day of August and the first day of school is on the 1st day of September. We regularly time our re-registering of “old” students and registration of “new” students on the 1st weekend after school reopened and the re-opening of our centre the following week on the 2nd weekend. Thus this year, we resume classes on Saturday 14th September and hence I taught for 6 week before returning to Hongkong on 15th November and then to Malaysia on 25th November.

The centre will continue to have weekend lessons for Class One and Class Two, and English classes at Changjiao’s primary school and adult night classes under the tutorship of Ms Lucy Liao, my teaching assistant continue while I am away. I taught my last lessons for this year on Sunday 10th November.

As usual, there are always a few unforgettable episodes during the re-registration of old students and the registration of new students. This year, a very obese child caught my eyes as I observed him sitting on our plastic stool … ah well I noticed him but could barely see the stool … looking absolutely miserable. It was obvious, among the sea of excited and anxious faces of the others waiting to be interviewed, he was not in the least interested. Anyway, when his turn came, he wobbled up and sat down in front of me looking down on the ground. I said good morning to him and he mumbled a slow reply. Then I said to him, “You do not seem to want to study with us at LSSC”. No response from him. Then I asked gently, “Who brought you here?” “My grandpa” was the soft reply. I then said, “It is your grandpa who wants you to study but you do not want to study. Is this true?” With downcast eyes he replied softly “Yes.” Slowly and clearly I said to him, “Why don’t we cooperate. You go and tell your grandpa that I will not accept you. In this way you do not have to come and I do not have to teach you. Both of us will be happy.” For the first time then he looked up at me square in the eye, brightened up with a broad smile, thank me and shot off instantly. I wanted to tell him that he can come back when he is ready but he was already out of the door and out of sight. I just wonder we will ever meet again!!!

As a consequence of the publicity in the media and especially because of the many TV programmes about LSSC, we experienced a surge in the number of Junior Middle and Senior Middle school students seeking admission. We were faced with a dilemma to accept or not to accept as our previous rule was not to accept any secondary student who had not studied at LSSC while in primary school. It was a difficult decision for us. On the one hand, because they have not studied with us when in primary school, they do not know our Pinphonics system of reading and are generally very weak reading in English. If they cannot read proficiently, it will be difficult for them to follow our senior classes because their listening and speaking skills are poor. The one thing that is in their favour is that they are very keen to learn. We decided to take them in on condition they are willing to learn the basics by attending Class One and be taught by our “little teacher” every weekend for the duration of the 1st semester. When registration was over, we counted more than 600 students about 33% more than the previous year.

While our education mission at LSSC is getting to be known beyond the borders of Guangdong Province to the whole of China because of the publicity by CCTV-Beijing and relayed broadcasts by provincial TV stations, our community development projects to improve the stand of living of the villagers in Baijiang are also making great progress. The Political Secretary of Dabu visited us and offered RMB100 thousand to assist our efforts. This summer, while I was away in Beijing to attend the award ceremony, villagers in Baijiang sold their pomelo crop and every family made respectable profits according to the number of pomelo trees they have. In general, everyone is happy with the pomelo planting programme and as to be expected urged me to complete cementing the hill road. The RMB100 thousand given by the state government came in handy as the whole project is expected to cost RMB250 thousand. Before I left for Malaysia, I appointed a villager as the project manager to start work and I am hopeful that the project will be completed when I return to Changjiao in early 2014.

When I returned to Malaysia on 25th Nov I was looking forward to a long end of year holiday. It is always good to be home again and I thank my all of you, family and relatives, friends and former students, for your kind hospitality and interest in the mission at LSSC Changjiao. To all of you I want to say, “Thank you very much for your financial, moral and spiritual support. The Good Lord has put you into my life so that with your support I am sent to touch hearts and change lives in Changjiao, China.”

The Joy and Peace of Christmas is within you.

As always with love in the service of youth and nation through DLS

La Salle Provincialate,
Petaling Jaya.
23rd December 2012




All good things must come to an end... that better things may begin!!!
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