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Principal Liu Pengzhi: Engraving the Calling of Education into My Life

Mr. Xia Mianzun, a reputed Chinese educator once said, “Without love, there is no education.” Education is not merely a vocation, but rather a mission with love. Education somehow resembles a long river——a slowly flowing river for thousands of years, during which time passed by and great waves swept away countless sand gravels, with only precious and permanent sparkling gold having settled down. For education, two components preserved throughout the vicissitudes are love and responsibility. It is love and responsibility that make education a Garden of Eden, where generations of trees of life thrive and prosper, and where countless teachers and educators work laboriously with their love and responsibility.

As Premier Wen Jiabao put forth in 2006 Government Work Report, “We will enhance the political integrity and professional competence of teachers and train large numbers of outstanding educators.” In 2007, Mr. Wen highlighted again that “We should advocate school running by professional educators, and encourage more excellent young people to be engaged in education.” The National Outline for Medium and Long-term Education Reform and Development (2010 -2020), which was recently publicized for suggestions, also advocates school running by professional educators, and encourages teachers and principals to make aggressive explorations and innovations in educational ideas, teaching models and methodology as well as to develop unique school-running style. The transformation from school running by principals to school running by educators reflects a new request for school education in this transitional society. This is an era calling for the emergence of a large number of professional educators with a strong sense of love and responsibility to support Chinese education. Educators are the ultimate synthesizers and embodiment of education and art. How to train more professional educators remains the key issue facing the current education.

In China’s basic education circles, Ms. Liu Pengzhi, principal of the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China (RDFZ), embodies the quintessence of school running by educators. For Madame Liu, calling of education has been deeply engraved into her life. Throughout her several decades of service in education as a teacher and later as a principal and educator with a nationwide reputation, she has worked with great labor, courage, perseverance and pioneering spirit and created one miracle after another in basic education. From 1997 until now, Ms Liu has led RDFZ to advance by leaps and bounds, developing it into a pioneer in China’s basic education circles. Moreover, Principal Liu has also led students and staff members as well as other schools to run with a strong sense of social responsibility, taking the lead in implementing the national strategy of promoting a balanced education. Over the past ten-odd years, Ms. Liu has guided RDFZ people towards their goal, exposing vividly the school concept of “all for the prosperity of our country, and all for the advancement of humanity.” Meanwhile, in advancing the school, she has also made herself a legend in Chinese educational circles.