Project 1: Pingbian County, Yunnan Province, China (map)

Pingbian, a Miao autonomous region in southern China, adjacent to Vietnam, is located in the Red River (Honghe) prefecture of Yunnan province. A population of over 145,000 lives on 1904 square kilometers. Because of its remote location, mountainous geography, lack of natural resources, and multi-ethnic demography (Han, Yi, Zhuang, and Yao, beside the Miao), Pingbian County has been designated as one of China’s prime targets for development and poverty relief.

Primary School Reconstruction

Since March 2002, Kang Yun Foundation (Hong Kong) has rebuilt nine primary schools in Pingbian county:

  1. Kang Yun Baige Hope School (September 2002)
  2. Kang Yun Ximatang Hope School (April 2004)
  3. Kang Yun Fangyang Hope School (April 2004)
  4. Kang Yun Dimi Hope School (April 2005)
  5. Kang Yun Jiefang Hope School (April 2005)
  6. Kang Yun Baihe Hope School (March 2006)
  7. Kang Yun Baifu Hope School (April 2007)
  8. Kang Yun Yongsheng Hope School (January 2008)
  9. Kang Yun Zhedichong Hope School (October 2008)

The refurbishment of Mama primary school has also been completed (April 2008).

Pingbian Senior High School

Kang Yun Foundation (HK) has supported the completion of Pingbian's new senior high school. The new campus will accommodate 3000 students, three times more than the old high school, and provide facilities and opportunities comparable to those available in more economically developed towns and cities in China. For more information, please see our fundraising letter (March 2009). You can also visit the school's website at www.pbshs.com.

Dormitory#3 (May 2009)
Library (April 2010)

Teacher Programs

One of the greatest difficulties facing rural primary schools is the shortage of experienced and effective teachers. Kang Yun’s teacher programs aim to retain and support a corps of excellent school teachers in Pingbian county, and to provide training that will not only raise teaching standards and produce measurable outputs in higher student achievement, but also enable them to train their fellow teachers, thereby initiating a cascading or multiplying effect.

  • Teacher retention.  Since 2005, Kang Yun has sponsored an annual teacher awards program in Pingbian, granting cash prizes to hundreds of excellent teachers across the county chosen on the basis of recommendations by their school principals and examination results achieved by their students.  The awards program has helped to stabilize teachers, stemming the flow out of the county.  In 2008, 321 monetary awards were granted to Pingbian teachers from grades 1-12. (See pictures from the award ceremony here.)  In 2012, the program has been modified to create a group of the outstanding teachers who will receive a larger prize amount, but must commit to training a group of their fellow teachers as a condition of the award.  The aim of this modification is to mitigate the effects of the flow of good teachers from the periphery to the center.
  • Teacher support.  Kang Yun has provided funds for the creation of a pilot website where Pingbian teachers can post small projects to be funded or request items that can be donated.  Rural primary schools often have practically no equipment or supplies for activities, such as P.E., music, and art, that are outside the national curriculum.  It is hoped that, if successful, this website can be replicated in many other school districts in China.
  • Teacher training.  Created by Professor He Kekang of Beijing Normal University, Skipping Learning is an innovative pedagogical model that aims to effect radical improvements in language learning (Chinese and English) in rural schools through relatively simple, easily implementable changes to traditional teaching methods.  The model works within the national curriculum, using the same texts and without requiring extra classroom hours or homework from the students.  The pilot program will run for three years initially.  For the first two years, 12 schools in Pingbian – 8 primary and 4 middle schools – will adopt Skipping Learning.  A team of instructors and graduate students from Beijing Normal will visit Pingbian four times a semester for training, feedback and review sessions.  In the third year, a local Pingbian teaching team, by now trained in the methods, will themselves become trainers and expand the program to include more schools in the county.The goals of the program are for students after two years in Skipping Learning classes to greatly exceed the curriculum standards set for mastery of characters, reading and writing in Chinese; and vocabulary, listening, speaking, reading and writing in English. 
  • Volunteer teachers.  Since the fall of 2010, the Foundation has sent volunteer teachers selected by Our Free Sky, a fellow Chinese educational non-profit, to Baiyun town in Pingbian county.  Each semester, three new volunteers arrive to teach math and Chinese classes as well as subsidiary courses (e.g., I.T., health, English) at primary schools within the township.  The volunteers are drawn from well-educated professionals in large cities.