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March 30, 2020

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Uni students step in to teach children of front-line workers

Students of Shanghai universities are helping with the studies of children in families affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic, such as those of doctors and community workers.

At East China University of Science and Technology, a program called “Huali Dream” has gathered more than 500 student volunteers to help 1,000 kids around the country.

They provide tutorship on core subjects including math and English, and also special courses, such as computer programming, singing and painting.

According to the university, 83 percent of the students have prior volunteering experience. All received training before beginning work.

The university volunteer association surveyed the children to pair them up with suitable volunteers.

Zhang Yiran, a major in artistic design and media, has been tutoring second-grader Gui Yushan from Yunnan Province.

Gui loves singing with her dad but he is on the front line as a community volunteer.

He signed up for the singing class for his daughter to make up for his absence.

Zhu Weiyi, a major in information science, teaches programming. He begins with games and explains the programming behind them, helping students to design games themselves.

The mother of Wang Yushuai and Wang Yuxuan works in a hospital. Now He Feifan from the university is their PE teacher and monitors them do exercises at home.

He also told the boys that their mother is doing a great, meaningful job so they should concentrate on their studies and not let her worry about them.

‘Generous support’

At East China Normal University, 328 future teachers have been tutoring more than 290 students in Shanghai for 7,000 hours in total since February 18.

Tang Jialu, one of the volunteers, said: “As a future teacher, I felt greatly honored to be able to help those on the front line.”

“Thank you so much for joining our medical staff in fighting the novel coronavirus epidemic by giving us generous support and care,” Ruijin Hospital wrote to the university.

Meanwhile, at Fudan University, a team of 300 volunteers is helping children of medical staff working in Shanghai and central China’s Hubei Province.

Among them, 161 are medical students.

They are divided into two groups, one for preschool PE education and the other helping with homework for primary and secondary school students.

“I saw a child on TV, who is about 4 or 5 years old, calling ‘daddy’ when he saw his father on television,” said Liu Shuyi from Fudan’s school of social development and public policies. “It touched me.

“So when I discovered our university has a program to help these kids, I signed up immediately.”

“I’m grateful to An Ran from Fudan for teaching my child,” said the wife of a doctor.

“She is loving and faithful and I believe she will be a good doctor in the future.”

An, a major in clinical medicine, said: “I was nervous on the first day, but the family was very friendly.

“I’m happy to be able to offer a little help to them.”


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