Dripping Water Story
The tuition aid program of Dripping Water Elementary School started in Mar. 1998 and put into operation in July. The program paved 150 meters of highway, cleared up the field, dug and bombed 341 cubic meters of mountain stones and rocks, built 6 new factory rooms, erected 250 meters of high-pressure electricity wires, installed 8 sets of machine and one computer with the Internet at a total cost of ?65405.88 Yuan.
The program produced a net profit of ?29134.6 Yuan and supported 398 needy children. All pupils at the school were funded at different extend, and extremely needy pupils could go to school for free of charge. In spite of a big amount of debts from early electricity construction and heavy snow disaster, the village committee and the Party branch committee contributed 831 labors at a cost of ?8315 Yuan; 373 pieces of woods at a cost of ?3730 Yuan and bombed stones, cement, tiles and etc. at a cost of ?8100 Yuan.
The Dripping Water tea factory was built on the slope of black stones in the north of the school. It needed to bomb 238 cubic meters of stones, further more 105 cubic meters of stones in order to provide transportation. The 4 th group of villagers was in charge of boring holes and bombing rocks, the group leader personally held the drill and bored the holes. The 7 th group was responsible for laying stones and clearing up the housing foundation.
Two women, Guiying Chen and Zhengying Zhang carried the drill and bored bomb holes for 4 consecutive days. Guoshun Wang, a 70-year-old elder carried the drill borer and hammer and worked hard as young lads did. He said: “It will benefit future generations. I can still make a little contribution although I'm old.” The leader of the 7 th group was always the first to push stones, clear up the bomb positions, hold up and beat and lay stones. Influenced by him all villagers made every effort to work together for more than one month. The transportation was provided on 150-meter highway; the factory foundation was bombed out on more then 170 meters of site .
During collection and preparation of construction materials the 6 th group of villagers carried plaster stones back and froth 2 km of mountain road under the burning sun, 10 tons in 5 days and none complained. The 7 th group of villagers climbed mountains and hills, passed through wood thorns and cut woods in the intensive heat of summer. Two women, Jiazhi Long and Xiuzhi Zheng held a competition with lads and never complained about hardship and fatigue although they worked hard till streaming with sweat and full of dirt on their whole body. Someone persuaded them to work slowly but they said, “our children are at school, the others help our children so it's nothing for us to make a little bit contribution.”
The schoolteachers fixed in advance every single matter, every single labor and every single kind of raw materials. They often worked at nights separately, climbed mountains and hills to ask for guidance and report to the village committee. It was often late night when they got back. Teachers and pupils had to work at day or night to transport sand, move tiles, unload goods and pass tiles at any time when village cadres were busy in village affairs and villagers were busy in summer harvest. Teachers took turns on duty to prevent lost of raw materials so as to save funds.
It was right in the summer harvest season when the principal part of the factory housing was finished. All master workers and villagers were busy in summer harvesting and ploughing. Teachers led pupils to move tiles, and climbed onto the house and built 6 rooms a day, younger pupils lined up to pass tiles, elder pupils followed teachers to built rooms. What a bustling occasion! Among these pupils, the oldest was 10 years old; none was afraid and drew warm praises of passers-by.
Teacher Guangrong Wang rushed forward at every event as young teachers although he was going to retire. Teacher Jiarong Zhang went to market at dawn and back to school at midnight in order to weld house frame. He went to the rubbish recycling station to find angle iron and asked master worker to process it in order to save expenses. He helped master worker to cut and hammer materials in person and was shaken out a crack on his hands and a broken soles.
The program drafted all kinds of management systems and methods, and strengthened 7 management systems including the technician duty system, the public property management system, the financial management system, the security protection system, the community council system and etc. All the activities were under the control of management systems.
The program drew customers from outside nearby because of high transparency, better service and processing quality. The tea factory paid special attention on quality and reputation. They had machine running as long as customers came. Tea farmers from 3 villages had processed tealeaves in the tea factory since it opened. The number of customers reached 300 people in total every year. The factory could gain ?4500 Yuan proceeds merely from processing service a year.
One evening of this summer when the technician and the teacher on duty saw the last customer out and were going to close after all day long hard work, a tea farmer came in carried new tea leaves and implored: “Would you please process this load of tea leaves whatever, otherwise it will be wasted. ” They poured a cup of cold water for the farmer and said: “don't worry, we won't let you down as long as you come in to our factory.” They chatted with the farmer and knew that he was from the foot of Jian Mountain , and his two children picked this load of tea leaves on Sunday in order to exchange for study materials. A few tea factories refused to process the load of tealeaves because of fewer amounts and less profit. This father had to carry this load of tealeaves and walked more than 10 km on mountain road under high temperature. He said: “I think this factory belongs to the school, surely you will help me.” Teachers were moved, forgot all their weariness and ran the machine immediately. They processed tealeaves conscientiously and didn't miss every single process. Three hours later the farmer was so excited that he couldn't speak when he received 4 Jin of finished tea. It was such petty things that won more and more customers for the factory.
At Dripping Water Elementary School democratic management has penetrated into every aspect of the program and became the most influential feature of the program. They set up the community council at the beginning consisting of 11 people including village cadres, respectful elders, pupils' parents and villager representatives in proportion. The Community Council drew up the monthly discussion system; the 5 th day of every month was the discussion day. The Community Council will make decisions on assistance targets, auditing financial income and expenses, appropriations and etc. They convinced all villagers that they have been working objectively and fairly over several years. In the community council there was a ‘detailed notebook' that recorded children's study achievements, labor ability, moral status, poverty status and reasons and etc. it was the important basis to set assistance targets. The Community Council also inspected every item of financial income and expenses, verified the fund flow and uses.
The teachers' labor union (hereafter as “TLU”) at Dripping Water Elementary School was a cooperative and united team although it only consisted of 3 people. They divided the work clearly and each took his own responsibility. The school arranged each teacher's work based on different post and its responsibility: an accountant, a cashier, one storekeeper, the technician mainly in charge of techniques, the principal in charge of overall coordination. Teachers rotated to help the technician, one teacher every day. The school drafted management systems and posted on wall after passing approval of the TLU.
The school carried out plain code with the price clearly marked on tea and oil crops to ensure fairness to all the old and the young, established the customer suggestion card to solicit opinions and criticism on quantity, quality, price, service attitude and etc. in order to improve service quality. The school regularly circulated the collected suggestions at the TLU and rectified within a stated time after verification. For instance, when one villager questioned the color quality of processed oil once, the school asked for the guidance of experts together with the technician while making feedback in time through the TLU, and finally solved the technical problem.
Once a month the school reported the directions of the fund application to the TLU, posted every transaction of financial income and expenses, and accepted supervision of the TLU The school kept economic current accounts in order up to date and standardized financial notes. Meanwhile the school submitted detail accounts of income and expenses to the community council's approval to assure health and transparency of financial income and expenses.
The student union consisted of 10 people including representatives from cadres in classes, grades and young pioneers and students. Children formed spontaneously “ Forest protection Team” to protect the tea garden. Children cooperated with teachers and took part in the tea garden's management and prevented livestock from ruining the tea trees on holidays. In addition, children helped teachers to collect information and put up the distribution proposal of tuition aid fund to ensure the fairness of tuition aid.
The school insisted the financial income and expenses of the program should open to all teachers, and to all pupils and their parents; and should be supervised by the community council and the schooling district.
Three sides controlled doing the accounts and charging on raw materials and finished products. The school director was responsible for scaling raw materials and finished products under the supervision of the technician and customers. They posted grading standards and charging standards of raw materials and finished products, and left all account books on processing scene so as customers, teachers, pupils and technicians could verify at all times
The tuition aid field becomes a big class of study-practice in order to help pupils learn skills to get rich by science and technology. Teachers brought students to the field on Nature and Labor class and taught them to clear weeds, apply fertilizer, catch insects and pick up special tea and ordinary tea leaves. Meanwhile teachers asked students to compile observation diary and collect information for their articles to improve overall quality of students.
Now the school has 75 mu of field land including 30 mu of finished tea field that can produce 1400 -1500 kg of fresh tealeaves each year picked by all pupils under the guidance of 3 teachers. Teachers and technicians times fire properly, and guided pupils how to run the machine, roll and bake tealeaves. Parents felt new and had a try when children told them the terms and tea-making techniques learning at school, and said: “we are really relieved that children not only study culture and techniques at school but also form the habit of labor.” It trained pupils' bravery and fortitude in dealing difficulties. The program proceeds supported all school pupils, especially extremely needy pupils. Villagers highly trusted the school and sent initiatively their children to the school. The school entrance rate and consolidation rate had reached 100% yearly since the program started. The tea garden had formed good “hematopoietic function” and was called as children's “Green Bank” by villagers.