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Church Schools Creates a New Era of Modern Education in Fujian

Church Schools Creates a New Era of Modern Education in Fujian

Group photo: the teachers and students of Yangzheng Girls' School when it was founded in 1892 Group photo: the teachers and students of Yangzheng Girls' School when it was founded in 1892(Provided by Chris White )
ByCCD contributor: Lin Muli August 27, 2018
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At the end of 19th century, John Watson and Henry Thompson, Britain missionaries, shared the gospel and laid a solid foundation in Zhangpu County, Fujian Province. In 1889, the English Presbyterian Mission funded to build a church and schools near it, creating a new era of modern education in Zhangpu.

The English Presbyterian Mission established a kindergarten in 1891, and Yangzheng Girls' School, a primary school located in which is now the "red house" in Xinluwei, Zhangpu. The school had an attached kindergarten and a women learning group, particularly for teaching illiterate women Chinese and Minnan written vernacular. Though recruiting boys and grown-up illiterate women, these units are all called by a joint name, "Yangzheng Girls' School of Zhangpu, Fujian."

The school started to use textbooks published by the government, and recruited over 100 students, during the period of the Republic of China. Miss Maclagan, a missionary from Britain, was the first president of the school. In 1947, Yangzheng Girls' School closed down due to financial difficulties.

In 1904, Fengyuan Private Primary School of Zhangpu, the predecessor of The First Experimental Primary School of Zhangpu, was established. Rev. Wu Ju was the first president of the school board, while Huang Depi took the post of principal. In 1920, the alumnae of Yangzheng Girls' School and the English Presbyterian Mission funded a two-floor teaching building. This around-600-square-meter building is commonly known as Red House.

In 1932, the Red House was once the military office when Red Army occupied Zhangpu. Now the Red House, of which the building property right belongs to Puyi Church, is now a provincial cultural relics protection unit and education base of revolution tradition of the county. Before 1949, Fengyuan Private Primary School had the best equipment and teachers of the county. Many of its students were to become notable persons in political and academic circles. In 1952, Fengyuan Private Primary School was turned into a public school and is now known as Zhangpu No. 1 Experimental Primary School. 

- Translated by Lin Changfeng

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