LOCAL students — all 1.37 million of them — went back to school yesterday.
Many schools arranged traditional cultural activities for the new semester to mark the end of the Chinese New Year celebration as well as warming up for campus life ahead.
At Luwan No. 1 Central Primary School in Huangpu District, students shared family photos taken during the Spring Festival, read poems related to spring and played games on iPads to compete on knowledge of ancient Chinese poetry.
“Our family took a photo of 21 members when dinning together during the festival,” He Huilin, a fourth grader at the school, said with the photo in her hand. “These include my grandparents, my parents, uncles, aunties and a cousin to be born later this year. It was the first time for so many of our family members to get together and was really meaningful at the traditional Chinese festival for family reunion.”
He Chunqiu, a Chinese teacher, said the school had arranged classic poetry as part of their daily education to help students to learn traditional culture and the personalities of poets.
“We do not force students to recite the poems,” she said. “It is more important for them to learn the Chinese culture and how the poets had faced failures and challenges. These might be useful later in their life and help them overcome possible difficulties.”
To make poetry more interesting, the school asked a company to develop an application to enable children to study the subject via a game.
“It is interesting,” said Meng Zichen, a fourth grader, “I can play the game and memorize the poems at the same time.”
Activities in other schools included scissor-cutting, writing the Chinese character of “fortune” and lantern riddles.
At Tianshan Road No. 1 Primary School, students brought special foods from across the country, which they had eaten during the winter vacation, and shared them with classmates — and by doing so learning more about food culture. Traffic, meanwhile, remains a major concern for many schools.
About 5,000 traffic police officers and traffic assistants helped to secure a successful first school day after the winter holiday for pupils at 364 middle and primary schools and kindergartens around the city.
To reduce congestion around the schools and kindergartens, many of which are located on busy streets, police targeted illegal parkers and illegal lane changers. Parent volunteers assisted police with ensuring pupils were dropped off safely from their parents’ cars.
In recent months, police have been working with schools and communities to relieve traffic pressure around schools in several spots in the city.
In Baoshan District, Huma Road, a narrow street outside Baoshan No. 3 Central Primary School, is no longer beset by congestion.
Previously, parents parked their cars along the streets and walked their children to the gate of the school in a residential complex where passages were often blocked by cars of residents. Now a 1.5-meter-wide path leading in from Huma Road is reserved exclusively for pupils so that parents don’t have to worry about the safety of their children any more.