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Chongqing Adds Diverse Labor Courses Like Ecological Workshops for New Semester

By ZHAN CHENICHONGQING|Sep 14,2022

Chongqing- Sorting and storage, cooking and nutrition, public welfare labor, volunteering, etc., the labor course has become an independent course in primary and secondary schools in Chongqing, with an average of no less than one hour class per week starting from the fall semester of 2022, according to the Ministry of Education.

Food culture is integrated into labor courses

As the school started this Fall, the Zhonghua Road Primary School at Yuzhong District set its fourth class every Wednesday as the course of labor food.

“We have combined the specialty food courses with the traditional culture to form a food-cooking course,” said Hu Wenqian, vice principal of the school. “food-cooking course is not just making a dish, but also taking into account the learning of traditional culture while practicing cuisine.”

In the courses, students not only learn about traditional culture but also carry out a series of themed practical activities, such as collecting and studying traditional customs, cooking traditional food, and writing research reports on food.

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The students learn about Chinese traditional culture through food. (iChongqing file photo)

“Such teaching form reflects students’ subjectivity and comprehensive learning’s value,” said Hu. “The school hopes to convey a concept to students that food is good cuisine itself, and in addition to the color and aroma of itself, food should also reflect the deep affection behind it.”

Combining labor courses with regular education 

To cultivate students’ labor literacy, Chongqing Renmin Primary School has flexibly set labor courses and education differently in the new semester. 

Daily labor requires first-grade children to learn how to wash hands, wipe desks, sweep the floor, and organize school bags, while third-grade children need to know how to mop the floor, organize clothes, and wrap dumplings.

Productive labor requires first-grade children to learn how to make lanterns, second-grade to cut paper, third-grade to grow bean sprouts, origami planes, and more. These tasks are not only combined with regular school education but also relevant to the curriculum contents of Chinese, Science, and other subjects.

“The teaching forms of labor courses are various, and the school will flexibly allocate schedules and set up long and short lessons,” the teacher said. “The school will continue to launch specific labor projects, focusing on cultivating students’ labor values and spirit.”

Students of Renhejie Primary School are observing the plants they grow

Students of Renhejie Primary School are observing the plants they grow. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Rooftop ecological workshop to grow vegetables and fruits

At Siyuan Experimental School in Pengshui County, the ecological roof workshop of more than 20,000 square meters is a student laboring practice base.

In the new semester, students will plant vegetables and fruits, manage flowers and seedlings, and learn how to turn them into handicrafts.

Cai Zhaopan, the principal at Siyuan Experimental School, introduced that since 2016, the school has taken the labor practice course as one of the school-based courses and offered it to students in all school grades.

The school has built an ecological workshop, also known as a student laboring practice base, in the past six years, covering the entire campus, roofs, and balconies, where students can grow vegetables, fruits, flowers, and trees as well as make small bonsai.

“We will continue improving the school-based curriculum, combining labor results with other disciplines,” said Cai. “We hope these courses can improve students’ labor skills by encouraging them to turn labor products into handicrafts.” 

(Zhu Qinzhuo, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)

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