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[LMC] Cross-border schooling popular in Ruili

Updated:2017-12-16 13:15:35   english.yunnan.cn

In west Yunnan’s border city of Ruili, it is common to see Myanmar pupils come to China in the morning for schooling and return home in the afternoon. And thanks to China-Myanmar cooperation in education, such a scene has been going on for more than a decade and will become more visible in the days to come.

On December 17, foundation stone of the International School of Lancang-Mekong Vocational Education, Yunnan Minzu University, will be laid in Ruili. On the occasion, we visited two primary schools and a culture center where China-Myanmar exchanges prevail. 

In the Yinjing primary school, there are 143 pupils, and 51 of them come from Myanmar. "I'm from Myanmar, so my pants are green. It's our tradition,” said Xiang Modai, a 9-year-old girl. In the school, most pupils wear the Dai-style costumes.

“At first, the children mainly use the Dai language for communication. To enable them to understand the textbooks, our school offers the Chinese, Dai and Myanmar language classes on Mondays and Wednesdays. " The head teacher Sun Jialiang said.

To be eligible to enter school in Ruili, a translated version of the ID card by the foreign affairs office, the birth certificate of the pupil and his/her parental information are needed.

Similar to the Yinjing primary school, the Jiegao national-gate primary school is also popular among Myanmar pupils whose parents are conducting business in Ruili City.
 
Yang Xiaowen, a 10-year-old Myanmar boy, is one of them. Every day, he crosses the China-Myanmar border twice, wearing the "Ruili Cross-Border Student Pass". 

Myanmar pupils in Ruili are said to be eligible to enjoy free education, free textbooks and free breakfast, all the same as their Chinese counterparts.

At the culture center of Guomen Shushe (national-gate book club), free Chinese and Myanmar languages training runs from 7:00 to 9:00 in the evening. 

During the Chinese languages training session on Dec 14, we came across Jiang Mingxue, a 48-year-old Myanmar businessman who have been learning Chinese there for nine months. 

"I can understand and speak quite a few Chinese words now." Jiang Ming said he is determined to learn the language to better communicate with his Chinese customers. "As long as I have time, I would come to the training. It is free, 6 sessions a week."

Zhao Hongxian, a Myanmar resident with Chinese blood, has been served as a bilingual trainer at the culture center for 3 years. “The maximum attendance can be more than 70 persons because language proficiency can increase the trainees’ income to around 1,000 yuan per month from the previous 300-400 yuan,” said Zhao. 

Reporting by Guanxi Ruyi and Li Wenjun; translating by Eric Wang 

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Editor: Eric Wang