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September 7, 2009

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Class gets pleasant surprise as a 'student' named Wen joins in

WHEN the class began, math teacher Xu Junjun announced that Premier Wen Jiabao was with them.

Students turned around simultaneously and found Wen, who greeted them with a gentle smile.

During the morning class that started 8:10, Wen took notes carefully. After the lesson, he sat with several students sharing his notes with them.

He spent a total of four hours and five minutes until the music class ended with Class 5 of the eighth graders at the Beijing No. 35 Middle School on Friday.

"It's a memorable experience and I felt as if I had traveled back to my childhood," Wen said. "I love you all."

The premier has been visiting teachers and students on every Teacher's Day since 2003 when he took up the post. The 25th Teacher's Day will fall on Thursday.

"Sitting in on the class all the morning is my way of paying tribute to teachers," he explained his visit later that day in a meeting with the faculty also attended by teachers from other areas of Beijing.

The premier commented on the morning lessons one by one and offered his suggestions to the teachers.

Wen said that education was a lofty and honorable cause.

"The nation's rise and fall rely on education, as only first-rate education can generate first-rate talents who in turn can build a first-rate nation," Wen said.

China has about 16 million people working in educational institutions, including 12 million teachers in middle and primary schools.

Chinese teachers had made a great contribution to the country's education and modernization through their hard work to cultivate generations of talented people over the years, Wen said.

"Anyone, no matter how successful they are, owes their growth to their teachers' enlightenment and instruction, and thus should be a student forever before their teachers," he said.

He also urged the teachers to be creative in improving their skills, teaching content and evaluation methods.

"Teachers are not sculptors, but what you are crafting is the most valuable work of art," Wen said.

He called on the educators to teach with love, be dedicated to learning and set exemplary roles for students.

"I felt quite warmed at heart after I watched the premier spend the whole morning attending lessons and taking almost an hour to comment on each one," said Zheng Xinrong, a professor with Beijing Normal University, China's top institute for teachers.


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