Established in 2008, Teach for China is aimed at achieving equal access to quality education for all children in China. In partnership with the global network Teach For All, Teach For China recruits, selects, trains, and supports outstanding US and Chinese graduates from top universities in these two countries to be placed in full-time, two-year teaching commitments at under-resourced schools in high poverty and rural Chinese communities, where they meet the pressing need for exceptional educators. Through the Deutsche Bank Asia Foundation, Deutsche Bank is a proud sponsor of Teach for China.
On their trip, the Chongqing and Beijing colleagues visited four schools in a remote county named Yun Xian in Yunan Province. They participated in English and Physics classes, spoke to Teach for China Fellows and local students about their daily challenges, and brought along stationery purchased with funds donated by employees of the Chongqing office.
Since most of these children’s parents are migrant workers who work all-year-round in big cities, children as young as five years old may be forced to live on their own or even take care of elderly grandparents. While most of the local teachers are responsible, they are limited in their own resources. Therefore, the Teach for China Fellows, one of the most elite groups of graduates in the world, bring something very special and necessary – in addition to fresh knowledge, a global perspective and proof that the outside world cares about the children.
The American Fellows taught classes using amazing Mandarin and said that they are also coping with the local dialect so they can better integrate with the local residents and culture. Each year, as a tradition passed from old-timers to new joiners, the Fellows fund eye exams and glasses for children in need with money from their modest salaries.
A sense of abandonment can be strongly felt in the villages despite decent road access. Both the children and the Fellows could not stop talking to the volunteers – loneliness is the hardest obstacle to overcome in a land dislocated from the rest of the fast-evolving China.
Deutsche Bank volunteers believe that attention from Teach for China Fellows as well as caring visitors will have a lasting impact on the children's academic and character development. The children's basic day-to-day living needs are met; however, they are severely deprived of adult attention and inspiration from the outside world. More activities such as donation drives and volunteer visits will be in held in the near future.