Editor's note: On February 24, all of the middle and primary schoolswere opened officially in Yuyang district of Shiyan city in Hubei province. The Taohuagou teaching spot has been lessenedfromits position as a junior middle school, complete primary school, junior primary school, to the teaching spot it is today.The number of teachers and students once numbered as high as over 30 and 300 respectively. However,now there is only one student, Li Jiankang, and one teacher, Liu Zhaoming.
The 58-year-old Liu Zhaoming has been teaching here for 38 years. He has been engaged in combined instruction, meaning that all the students from preschool, grade one and grade two study in the same class and are taught consecutively. Li Jiankang lives far away from the teaching center, so it's much more convenient for him to have lunch at school. As a result, Liu Zhaoming always cooks for his students after teaching."Now, there is only one student," said Liu Zhaoming, "next year, we'll start running a kindergarten and make full use of all those quality resources including the school building and computers."
According to Liu, most of the children with better conditions choose to study in cities, not at the teaching spot. Li is still here because his parents are divorced, and his grandparents are both disabled. He lives more than five miles away from the teaching spot and his disabled grandfather has to take him to school every day. There is almost no possibility for Li to study without this teaching spot.
With the development of urbanization, more villagers have come to cities as migrant workers. Also, many rural children have moved to the cities with their parents. As a consequence, some teaching spots have been closed one after another due to a lack of students, with only a few retained.Now, there are 125 teaching spots in the rural areas of Yuyang district.
Li Jiankang is playing by himself during break time at a teaching spot located in Taohuagou village, Chengguan town, Yuyang district, Shiyan city, Hubei province on February 24. [china.org.cn by Cao Zhonghong]