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Chinese, 2006/01

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Village Middle School 農村初中
Tammy Cheung 張虹

The documentary takes a close look at the present situation of rural education in China. The story takes places in a over-crowded and under-funded middle school in a poor rural area of Yunnan. The school has a student population of 1,700 which is much larger than the school can handle. The film records the daily school life which includes school duties, classroom teaching, morning assembly, staff meeting, student counseling and public services, etc. The film shows the typical school life teachers and students face every day. The documentary employs the observational approach; there is no voiceover or interview.


In China, basic education has become one of the major social issues in recent years. In most rural areas, schools are seriously under-funded, poorly-administrated and teachers' moral are sadly low. Besides having financial difficulties, schools also have to deal with the "ideology issue." As a communism country adopting western capitalism, China is facing the inevitable encounter of the two different ideologies. In schools, Marxism and Maoism are still being taught and praised; however, the conflicting reality outside campus has been seeping through.


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