China's Oldest Girls' School--Tu Youyou’s Alma Mater, the Earliest Church School in China
By Ruth Wang, March 16, 2016 01:03 AM
It's a pride of Chinese that Tu Youyou, a Chinese pharmaceutical chemist, received the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In March, 2016, Brother Lv visited local Christian buildings in Ningbo, including the former site of Yongjiang Girls High School, saying, "I happen to know they are where Tu Yoyo studied. Built by foreign church missions, these two centenary buildings accidentally forged a Nobel laureate, which must be God's good will."
Indeed, just as Lv says, Tu Youyou was born and brought up in Ningbo, Zhejiang. She finished her primary and secondary education and then entered into Peking University in 1951. Tu's primary schools, Chongde Girls' School and middle school, Yongjiang Girls' High school, are both originated historically from the contribution of foreign missionaries.
Moreover, coincidentally, their former one is Ningbo Female Private School, which is the earliest church school in Mainland China, also the recorded earliest female school in China.
According to historical records, Ningbo, one of open five treaty ports after the Opium War in 1840, allowed foreigners to do business, preach the gospel and open schools. In 1844, the British "Oriental Women's Education Promotion Committee" appointed Miss M. Aldersey, the missionary to come here and established Ningbo Female Private School, the earliest female school in China.
Students paid free tuition and enjoyed the family income allowances from the school. It set up the "Bible" course as the main curriculum like Chinese, math, geography and needlework with refreshing educational style and content.
Later in 1847, Mrs. Cole from Presbyterian Church in the United States of America established another female school. When Miss M. Aldersey left Yongjiang for Australia, these two schools were combined into Chongde Girls School, situated in Huaishu Road.
In 1860, E.C. Lold founded another female school. In 1919 the school and Chongde Girls School were amalgamated. The new one was named "Yongjiang Female Middle School" in 1923.
The School's Corner Stone
Nowadays, based on the plans, Ningbo Yongjiang Girls' School, China's oldest girls' school, has been transformed into an educational museum. The construction team started the renovation of the teaching building in 2013. According to reports, the construction kept the original structure of the school and is expected to be completed next September.
Now the educational museum open to the public for free. Teaching materials, teaching tools and the office table used by Chiang Kai-shek also are exhibited on its opening.
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