Time warp. From Hebi, the travel leads to Xinxiang, a small city in Henan province. The time for the college entrance examination had begun, as far as I can see from the red banners that are posted onto the entrances of many high schools. After talking to friends, high school students and parents, I personally believe that there are much better ways to test the capability of high school students than hammering knowledge into ones brain. Who does it help when students are burned out before they even go to college? Youth might benefit more from vision and passion instead of drill and pressure. As time changes, so do demands on and of future generations. I believe that education has to adapt to these changes in order to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.My next stop is Wenxian, or better say the small town of Chenjiagou, the cradle of Taiji. Honestly I didn’t know that place before I get in touch with Li, my host in Wenxian. The place literally lives Taiji. I met a guy in high age sharing a bit of his passion with me.
In the next moment, I get introduced to the kids class that are instructed by a master of Taiji who co-directed the Taiji opening of the Beijing Olympics. Today the kids practice in a park in Wenxian. Here in Chenjiagou, there are Taiji training centers for kids, adults, foreigners literally everywhere. Both the place and teacher Li totally rock. Here’s a basic introduction of him:
Born in Henan Former photovoltaic engineer, now Taiji teacher Creator of a teaching concept named “All ways of life” Passionate Apnoe Diver
Li is the kind of person who give me reason travel and encourage me to always continue. One of the persons who are driven by their strong values in life. Having worked for a company for a while, he quickly realized that the job as an engineer isn’t for him and took the consequence: He quit. He instead decided to do the only right thing; following his instinct. So he took off to South East Asia, where he discovered his true passions to be Taiji and Diving and the strong desire to share his wisdoms with kids. Returning to Henan, he now spreads his experiences with the school kids of a boarding school, hoping to little by little make an impact on the lives of the youth.
Chenjiagou – The city of Taiji
During our talk, I got to know that school teachers aren’t paid well in China, and I personally believe that teachers should earn much more. Not that the profession as a teacher would attract people who want to get rich, but rather to appreciate their great efforts they give to society. That’s the issue in many countries. With regards to what teachers achieve, the pay of educators should be way higher. But somehow the public education sector is disconnected from wages paid on the private market. It’s one of the steps how to improve an inadequate education system. It certainly needs much more than than a pay raise. But by just spending a bit more on the education sector, the likelihood of students to become teachers may rise in the future. In this we should all learn from the North European education standards. Higher incentives lead to more expectations on teachers lead to better education. It’s a circle. The most qualified graduates thus improve our future kids education while receiving a compensation that acknowledges their achievement. Better input, better output. It seems easy(er said than done).I sincerely wish that we will say farewell to old practices and slowly transform the system to the better. Li surely contributes his part to that change and I hope that one day he will inspire you with his bright mind.Thank you Li.