On 10 September 2021, a golden autumn day, the Open University of China (OUC) held a meeting to celebrate Teachers' Day 2021. Members of the university leadership attended along with faculty and staff, on-site or via webcast. Jing Degang, Party Committee secretary and OUC president, delivered a speech.
Extending holiday greetings to OUC teachers on behalf of the Party Committee and university administration, Mr. Jing also congratulated the teachers and collectives being given commendations, while thanking all those who had contributed to the development of the university over the years.
He pointed out that in this centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and historical realisation of two centenary goals, the OUC is allowing itself to be guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and a speech given on 1 July by the General Secretary; it is offering down-to-earth instruction in Party history learning and education while continuing to shoulder its educational mission.
Jing Degang also summarised the achievements of the OUC over the past year, and praised the enthusiasm, entrepreneurship, diligence and devotion of its faculty and staff, whose efforts have continued to enhance the quality of education at the OUC. Nonetheless, to ensure stable results, they should continue to focus on achieving the objectives set out in the OUC Comprehensive Reform Plan, embracing national strategies and meeting demand for high-quality educational resources.
Jing Degang expressed three hopes for the university’s faculty and staff.
First, they should serve as guides with firm loyalty to the Party in terms of political awareness and educational mission. They must strengthen "their consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, uphold the leadership core, and keep in alignment", fortify their "confidence in the socialist path, theories, system and culture with Chinese characteristics", and "uphold General Secretary Xi's core position on the CPC Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and uphold the Central Committee's authority and its centralised, unified leadership", remembering the "top priorities of the country" and the fundamental task of fostering virtue through education.
Second, they should be ethical and student-oriented. When General Secretary Xi Jinping inspected Tsinghua University, he emphasised that teachers should focus their intellect, virtue and skills on enhancing teaching content to satisfy student expectations and needs, address problems needing urgent attention, and be truly student-oriented.
Third, they should be leaders in lifelong learning. The key to university reform is its teachers, and the OUC, as an "Internet Plus" university dedicated to lifelong learning, should have teachers able to deal with complex problems, remain up-to-date, and strive for excellence. They should not only lead but also participate in and contribute to lifelong learning.
At the meeting, faculty and staff with over 30 years at the university, winners of OUC Model of Teacher Ethics, Advanced Ethical Teacher, and OUC Teaching-skills awards, as well as projects and individuals that had won awards at or above the university level in 2020-2021, were commended.
Zhao Tingting, winner of the 5th Beijing Awards for Young Teachers in Higher Education, as well as the OUC Teaching-skills Competition, and Xiong Ying, an OUC Advanced Ethical Teacher, shared insights related to teaching and teacher ethics.
New OUC employees for 2021 swore a solemn and passionate oath to uphold the responsibilities and mission of the OUC.
At the end of the meeting, participating faculty and staff presented a gift of songs for Teachers' Day. A small chorus from the Experimental School performed "The Motherland Will Never Forget", showing the diligence of OUC teams working on behalf of distance and open education, while the OUC Chorus presented an affectionate song in praise of teachers. Ren Yan and Song Wenyi performed a duet, "I Love the OUC", with lyrics from a poem by Mr. Pang Zhonghua, a distinguished OUC professor, and music composed by Song Wenyi of the OUC Department of External Education and Training. The song, buoyantly performed, expressed sincere affection for the university.
Jing Degang, Party Committee secretary and OUC president, presented awards to OUC faculty and staff with over 30 years at the university.
Jing Degang, Party Committee secretary and OUC president, presented awards to those named OUC Advanced Ethical Teacher from the OUC headquarters.
Cao Guoyong, executive deputy secretary of the Party Committee of the OUC, presented awards to first-prize winners of the OUC Teaching-skills Competition.
Ju Chuanjin, OUC vice president, read out the list of teachers being commended.
Liu Chen, deputy secretary of the OUC Party Committee, presented awards to those placing second in the OUC Teaching-skills Competition.
Liu Xianghong, deputy secretary of the OUC Party Committee and secretary of the Discipline and Inspection Committee, presided over the meeting.
Yang Xiaotang, OUC vice president, presented awards to those placing third in the OUC Teaching-skills Competition.
Li Song, OUC vice president, led new 2021 faculty and staff in taking an oath.
Zhao Tingting, a representative of the award-winning teachers, spoke at the meeting.
Xiong Ying, a representative of the award-winning teachers, spoke at the meeting.
Chorus -"The Motherland Will Never Forget"
Song -"Ode to Teachers"
Duet -"I Love the OUC"
By Zhang Hongrui and Tian Suxia, OUC