Last month marked the end of a long road for children at the Siyan Middle School in Lushan county, Sichuan province.
At last, they were able to move into their
"Ours used to be the shabbiest buildings in town," said the grade-two student. "But now they are the most beautiful and modern."
A volunteer from BRC Group teaches a class in a new multimedia classroom at the Siyan Middle School in Lushan county, Sichuan province. The new school consists of a teaching block, a dining hall and two dormitory buildings for 350 students and 60 teachers. Provided to China Daily
The 20 million yuan ($6.65 million) reconstruction was completed by BRC Group, a real estate developer, headquartered in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province.
The new school consists of a teaching block, a dining hall and two dormitory buildings for 350 students and 60 teachers.
"This is the first time I have seen a computer classroom, a music room, a multimedia lab and a library," said one student's father, surnamed Wang.
"The children now have no excuse not to try their best," he said.
Chen Yong, headmaster of the Siyan school, said half of the students are so-called "left-behind children", or those who live apart from parents who have left to earn their living as migrant workers in cities.
"They are very hardworking, and taking part in national college entrance exams is sometimes their only way out of life in the countryside," Chen said.
Le Jun, the education bureau's deputy Party chief in Lushan, said it would have taken much longer for the local government to rebuild the dilapidated school.
"Local residents, teachers and students are so glad that BRC Group chose the school as one of its charity projects."
Yang Keng, the company's chairman, said helping children in poor regions is the most worthwhile investment the company can make.
"A well-educated person can make a much bigger difference to his or her hometown than a manual laborer," he said, explaining the school cost 19 million yuan to build with an additional 1 million yuan spent on teaching equipment and facilities.
"Building the school is only the beginning," Yang said.
"We will continue to set aside funds for scholarships for students, and professional training for teachers.
"You could say that our donation is to help people to learn to fish, rather than giving them fish directly."
Since being set up in 1990, BRC has donated more than 200 million yuan to charities mainly linked to education in poverty-stricken areas in Sichuan.
It established its own student grant and volunteer organization in 2007, and now plans to create an online public welfare platform to mobilize more resources to help the needy children.
"Sichuan people are intelligent, persevering and hardworking," said Yang, a native of the province.
"Arming young minds with knowledge should be the unshakable corporate social responsibility of every Sichuan enterprise."
BRC employs about 3,500 people spread across the real estate, modern services and pharmaceutical industries.
Last year, it had annual operating revenue of 399 million yuan, a 5.89 percent year-on-year rise.
(China Daily USA 02/10/2016 page14)