La Salle Study Centre Changjiao

September 2013 Newsletter







Greetings from LSSC Changjiao.  Peace and Joy is within you.

This is my 3rd Quarter report and as in previous years, it is a full length report about this year’s LSSC Summer English Reading Programme.  I wrote in my June report that LSSC was targeted by CCTV journalists with their respective TV crews in May and in June, and consequently we were featured 7 different times on different CCTV programmes in July. 

With so much publicity nationwide, we expected and were prepared for record number of requests for admission to our Summer English Reading Programme 2013 and we guessed right.  After three days of interviews and registration from 15th to 17th July we recorded an initial list 215 students for Class One (basically primary 3,4 and 5) , 212 students for Class Two (primary 6 and Junior Middle 1), 157 students for Class Three (Junior Middle 2 & 3) and 140 students for Class 4 (Junior Middle Three and University) totalling724 students.  Knowing that outstation students would arrive just a day or two before we began on 22nd July, we allowed for late registration of our village relatives and consequently we an additional 30 students thus we had a total 754 students, the highest number of students ever for our summer programme.  In addition to that, we had a group of 50 “little teachers” who were both assistant teachers and students making a total of 805 students for this summer, a record that we hope not to equal much less to break in the future.

The theme of our summer programme this year was China’s Dream which is based on an excerpt of the inaugural speech of President Xi Jin Ping on 29th November 2012  中国梦是民族的梦 [China’s Dream is the Dream of the Nation].  也是每个中国人的梦 [It is also the Dream of every Chinese].  只要我们紧密团结 [If we are united] 万众一心 [One heart and one mind] 有梦想 [When there is a Dream], 有机会 [there is Opportunity] 有奋斗 [there must be the Inspiration to fight for what is right and just no matter how difficult it may be].  We used a collection of songs such as “The Impossible Dream”, “Tomorrow will be better” (it is LSSC theme song) and we translated the lyrics of Chinese songs such as “The Invisible Wings”, “My Future is not just a Dream”, “Sunshine after the Rainstorm”, “Friends” etc as the background material to deliver the message, “Believe in yourself … Jonathon Seagull … I fly because I believe I can.   Tomorrow will be better if I make good use of today’s opportunities well”


One night a week into our programme, I was inspired while having a chat with some of my senior students to say, ..没去做 就是做梦.   , 就是梦想.  [You want but you do nothing; that is day dreaming.  You do because you want something; that is having a dream] and that immediately became our catch phrase throughout the rest of the programme … and I hope it will inspire this year’s summer programme students throughout their lives.


This year, we were very touched by the sacrifices some parents made in order to ensure that their children could fulfill their dreams to study at LSSC during the summer.  An odd job labourer from Chongqing, who is a migrant worker in Fujian, came over to Dabu looking for work so that his Primary 4 son could participate in LSSC’s summer programme.  Another father from Jiangmen, Guangzhou accompanied his Primary 3 and he himself became a student sitting through 2 hours of lesson a day.  A couple from Guangzhou rented two rooms and stayed throughout the programme so that their Primary 6 son and two Junior High School girls, children of their friends, could join LSSC’s Summer Programme.  A parent of one of our students in Dabu took it upon himself to provide free transport to other students living nearby his house.  There was a man from Jiangxi who would not believe that there is such a thing as free English Tuition and so he came all the way to verify what he saw on TV and read in the news media.  He was so impressed that he donated 4 bags of rice, two 8 kg bottles of cooking oil and fruits to help feed the many volunteers.  We had close to a 100 outstation students this summer … and there was rental demand for rooms in Baijiang!


A few words of thanks and gratitude for assistance given and rendered are in order.  I want to record a word of thanks to two families in Baijiang who came forward to offer us the use two vacant houses as it was obvious that we will need extra facilities for the summer.  We turned one house into a hostel for our senior volunteers and the other into classrooms for our small group lessons.  I also want to thank the teachers and student volunteers from La Salle College Hong Kong and two independent volunteers from Hong Kong as well as our team of 40+ local volunteers who formed the bulk of the teaching assistants throughout the programme.  Although our kitchen staff of 6 will never be able to read this, I also want to record my word of thanks to them for preparing simple but tasty and nourishing food throughout the three weeks.  For the table this year, we slaughtered a 350 catties pig, 8 geese, countless chickens and ducks, all from our own farm!  Next year we plan to rear fish and grow vegetables for the summer as well.


It had been a very tiring summer for me as for three weeks we had reporters and TV crews with us from Saturday to Tuesday every week so I did not get to rest on Sundays.  The local Meizhou TV filmed us the first week and the next two weeks, reporters and film crews from Beijing’s CCTV followed us around daily.  The media attention was because I was at that time shortlisted as a possible candidate for this year’s Teachers’ Day Award - “2013 - 寻找最美乡村教师.  At the end of August, I was among the 7 individual teachers, two couples and a group award for 7 teachers from one school, invited to Beijing to attend the award ceremony.  We were in Beijing for 8 days, 3 of which were spent rehearsing and recording the award ceremony and the last 5 days we were hosted by the Beijing’s Institute of Education to a series of Sharing and Dialogue sessions on the difficulties faced by rural village teachers, the importance and methodology of Primary Education, and the personality and ability of a teacher.  On China’s Teachers’ Day 10th September, the recorded ceremony as telecasted all over China on CCTV1 and CCTV4 as well as relay-telecasted by Provincial and regional TV stations.


I wish to thank my students in China for their commitment to study English well as I am very aware that it is their academic achievements in public examinations that have been gaining recognition for LSSC as an effective English learning centre.  We are proud to report that this year we helped Dabu produce a student who qualified to enter Medical School at Beijing University.  Dabu-Huliao has not had a local student qualifying for Beijing in the last 26 years.  To you, my students of LSSC Changjiao, I say, “Thank you.  You have and are still making my dreams come true.”


To everyone who has accompanied us on this Lasallian rural education mission, generously supporting us financially, morally and spiritually, from wherever you may be, I thank you for being my companion and an effective benefactor of LSSC Changjiao.  Take care and God bless.


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

16th September 2013

La Salle Study Centre



All good things must come to an end... that better things may begin!!!
Fraser's Hill -1976 - BDLiao