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In China / Society and environment / AC Sunshine School / Survey for Rural Yi Primary School

Survey for Rural Yi Primary School


(Page 2 of 7)

During “the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution”, our old generations were living a vagabondage life in mountain forest, wandering to the desolate and uninhabited Hahaheba later. They reclaimed the land and did farm work on their own, thus forming a village ,however, as the household could not be registered, it was called “Excluded Village”, Luowu Buha explained. At that time, at the foot of Hahaheba Mountain less than 50 kilometers away from where Liu Bocheng, the commander of advanced force and Xiaoye Dan, the Yi leader formed an alliance, and less than 50 kilometers away from Xichang Satellite Launch Center appeared three excluded villages. Different from other villages, the villagers were not able to enjoy many rights accordingly as the “excluded village” did not belong to any administration or have an official name. One typical example is that villagers could not register their household because it did not belong to any of the organizations, which means that the school-aged children in the “excluded village” had no suitable school for them to attend because they did not have a household. As a result, the children had to take a long mountain path every day and in addition pay all kinds of high fees even if they chose to go to the nearby Huilong Village, Mianning County or Haha Village, Mianning County.

Luowu Buha came back to his hometown after graduating from Mianning Nationality Middle school in 1994. June 15, 1995 is a very special day in Luowu Buha’s life. On that day, Luowu Buha saw a dozen of school-aged children grazing along the river and on the slopes and he felt so sorry when he saw the shabby clothes on the children against the appealing scenery around them. Thinking of his own school experience, he had a feeling at the moment, so he started to talk to the children in Yi language.

“Why don’t you go to school?”

“There is no school.” “They charge a high tuition for the children from excluded village.” The kids said.

There is no way for those children from “excluded village” to afford the tuition. Therefore, they could do nothing but inherit their parents’ fate, to work from dawn to dusk and repeat their father’s destiny on this barren land. It was the deepest sorrow and grief in Luowu Buha’s heart. A clear thought of “Do something for the abandoned villagers” came up to him and he had an intention of running a school himself - to open his own school for the sake of his village.

In that year, this 18-year-old Yi youth who was of youthful vigor didn’t know what this decision would mean to him. “To my recollection, this was my impulse and in the meantime my responsibility as the only youth who was able to read in the ‘excluded village.’” he concluded after so many years.

On August 27, 1995, after fierce struggle with himself and more than two months’ simple preparation, Luowu Buha cleaned up the cattle pen, a room with less than 20 sqm, filled it up with earth and put on some wooden boards, all of which made it his “Heiba Nine Five Private Primary School”, the predecessor of Hahaheba Primary School. In his deep memory is that there were only 4 students coming on the first day, and several more children came on the second day. Soon after that, all 17 children aged from 6 to 9 in the “excluded village” came and sat in the shabby classroom of “Heiba Nine Five Private Primary School”.

Without any teaching plan, teaching materials or much planning for the future, the lessons started simply from 1, 2, 3. But regardless of that, this was the first time when the reading sounds soared over the “excluded village” after being silent for so many years and what the villagers talked about most was the village “school” that was free of charge.

The pressures coming along were out of his expectation. There were five people in his family and at that time, his two younger sisters were still innocent and did not understand any earthly affair and his parents already became senile before their time due to the suffering life. Luowu Buha’s mother was especially against her son’s opening the school at the very beginning. As Luowu Buha had already dedicated everything into the school running, and seldom took his family affairs into consideration, the family was poorer and poorer, and sometimes it became even worse that they had nothing to eat at all. And Luowu Buha’s mother thought that she did not need a “respected” but poor son. “The life she treasured was a life with sufficient food, and the top priority for her was to have enough food to eat every day. She really and indeed needed me, the eldest son, to support the family.”

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