On September 9, the grand celebration of 34th Teachers’ Day and 116th anniversary of the university was held at BNU. The theme of this year’s celebration was ‘Carrying Forward the Noble Virtues of Teachers, Striving to Become Teachers of Four Virtues’. University leadership and more than 300 administration representatives, teacher representatives and student representatives attended the ceremony. The celebration was hosted by BNU President DONG Qi.
This year, BNU began its first annual selection of ‘Lifelong Teacher of Four Virtues’ and ‘Gold Medal for Teachers of Four Virtues’ to honor those who have made special contributions to education. A teacher of four virtues refers to a teacher who has unwavering faith in the country’s development and future, high morality, profound erudition and strong benevolence. These four virtues are deep-seated codes, simple and difficult, that are held dear in the Chinese education sector. While it may be nothing special to meet the four standards for a while, it is by no means easy for a person to stick to them for a lifetime. Morality, commitment, front-line teaching experiences, academic achievement, and reputation are the combined factors considered. After strict selection procedures were fulfilled, Prof. GU was awarded such a prestigious honor and awarded 1 million RMB as bonus.
Prof. GU expressed thanks to the university’s decision to grant him this prestigious award. As always, Prof. GU said what he believed that he was just an ordinary teacher and was doing what he could do to fulfill the duty of a teacher. He looked back and shared his experiences from a primary school teacher to a university teacher, and some moments of participating in pushing forward China’s education reform. He especially thanked his students of all ages by saying that ‘it is you that have pushed me to keep learning and brought me the value of myself’. Prof. GU also appealed to everyone that while it is needed to recognize the educational progress over the past four decades, it is more important to see clearly the theoretical and practical problems that exist in China’s education. He maintained that tremendous efforts would still be needed for resolving educational inequality and enhancing quality of education. As a 90-year old educator, Prof. GU expressed his hope to work with young scholars to keep contributing his energy to China’s education until his last breath.
At the end of the speech, Prof. GU announced that he would donate all of the 1 million bonus to Beijing Normal University Education Foundation for the cultivation of young scholars and educators.