The central primary school of Changshaoying Manchu Township in Huairou District has opened astronomy and Manchu courses by making uses of its natural advantages.
Located deep in the mountain area of Huairou and 120km away from Beijing’s downtown area, Changshaoying Manchu Township Central Primary School is known as “the best place for astronomical observation in north Beijing” as the place boasts high land, open space and high atmospheric transparency.
According to Liu Yu, the director of the school’s information center, the school has included astronomy course into its curricula for students from grade three to grade six. Besides, the school also tries to recruit students gifted in astronomy into the school’s astronomy society. “We will arrange astronomical observations for students according to different astronomical phenomena, and sometimes there are three or four times in a month,” said Liu. In this way, students’ interest in astronomy is aroused, their practice abilities are improved and a foundation for geography study is laid, he added.
Another highlight of the school is the education centering on Manchu culture. As a school of a Manchu township, it takes the advantage of the local historical resources and has opened Manchu language course since last spring, trying to promote ethnic culture and national unity through Manchu language teaching. “Many students in the school are Manchus but most of them cannot speak the Manchu language,” said Liu. He believes that opening Manchu course not only can make students learn more about Manchu culture and history but also can promote cultural exchange and sharing among different ethnic groups.