Rural Teachers Training Program

Zigen, China

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ZeShan in 2009 joined forces with Seeds Foundation and Si Yuan Foundation in supporting an initiative which aims to develop a training manual and provide “Training the Trainers” (TOT) courses for rural teachers. Developed by The Zigen Fund, an NGO committed to improving the livelihood of rural populations in China, together with experts in rural education, the manual introduces effective teaching and learning methodologies in the context of rural China, and reasserts the value of being a rural teacher.

Training has been provided to 120 county-level “master trainer” teachers in Hubei, Hebei and Yunnan provinces on how to use the manual. They are expected to train up to 3,000 rural elementary school teachers in the next three years. A conference will be held in 2011 to share best practice indicators for quality rural education, showcase the training manual, and hopefully inspire other adult education programs in rural areas.

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Liberal Arts Education

Lingnan University, Hong Kong

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ZeShan Foundation believes in the impact of liberal arts education on young people, and has been a long-time supporter of Lingnan University, a liberal arts college in Hong Kong.

In 2006, ZeShan established the ZeShan Foundation Scholarship for students to participate in exchange programs abroad.  As of the academic year 2014/15, 107 students have benefitted from the scheme.

In April 2009, ZeShan supported Lingnan in organizing the “Coming-of-Age for Liberal Arts Education in 21st Century Asia-Pacific” Conference. It provided a platform for discussion on the long-term development of liberal arts education in the region. The two keynote speakers were Professor David Oxtoby, president of Pomona College in the United States, and Professor Peter McCagg, dean of international affairs at International Christian University in Japan.

In 2010, ZeShan supported Lingnan’s expanded Integrated Learning Program, designed to encourage students to embrace new ideas, acquire skills in learning and communication, appreciate different cultures, and develop a good physique. This co-curriculum program has developed a rich set of contents with consistently high quality to complement the formal curricula.

In 2014, twenty students were awarded scholarships to go on exchange programs in ten countries. Scholarship recipients of last year shared observations and reflections of their exchange experiences with members from the Foundation and this year’s awardees. ZeShan is keen to see transformation in the students through the experience.

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