"Celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of China and uphold the tradition of respect for teachers in the new era". On the afternoon of 10 September, 2019, the OUC celebrated the 2019 Teachers' Day and held a Commendation Conference. More than 400 people, including the school leaders and faculty members, attended the conference. The conference was presided over by Liu Chen, deputy secretary of the Party committee.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of China and the 40th anniversary of the founding of the OUC. The conference aims to showcase the achievements of the OUC in studying and implementing Xi Jinping's thoughts on socialism with Chinese characteristics for the new era, fully implementing the spirit of the National Education Conference. It demonstrates the patriotic spirit and efforts of the teaching faculty and the concept of fostering virtue through education, and aims to inspire the teaching faculty to never forget their original intentions, keep their mission in mind, and work hard to realise the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

On behalf of the school Party committee, Party secretary, and president of the OUC, Jing Degang expressed his sincere gratitude to all the faculty and staff who fought and have been fighting on the front line teaching, research, management and service; to the retired comrades who dedicated their lives to the development of the OUC; and to the 130,000 faculty and staff in the school system. He also wished everyone happy Teachers' Day.

He pointed out that education is fundamental to China’s development plan and teachers are fundamental to education. Teachers are the mainstay of a school, especially during the OUC’s transition period. Without the efforts of the teachers, there will be no future glory for the OUC. He hopes that the Teachers' Day celebration will bring everyone together to celebrate the most important festival for teachers. At the same time, the conference will set up a communication platform for faculty and staff, deepen the exchanges between teachers, and between teachers and managers, and reach the consensus on successfully operating the OUC.

Jing Degang put forward four requirements for all teachers: First, set up a clear attitude towards stressing politics. Stressing politics is the responsibility and task of every teacher. It is necessary to put politics into action and turn it into a conscious action within the practice of teaching and educating people. Second, concentrate on cultivating talented professionals. The teacher's duty is to educate people. The happiest thing for teachers is to teach people from all around the world. Faced with more than 4 million students in the OUC school system, each teacher shoulders a heavy responsibility. We should make use of the OUC’s advanced network to cultivate talented professionals. We need to uphold the spirit of "soul casting,” be willing to act as a ladder for them, make a selfless dedication to "fostering virtue through education,” and to cultivate people who can build and pass on socialism with Chinese characteristics that are equipped with all-round qualities of morality, intelligence, art, and work. Third, overcome difficulties to be engaged in scientific research. It is necessary to further stress and strengthen scientific research. On one hand, building the OUC brand relies on a large number of outstanding students that are built through our teaching and education; on the other hand, it relies on teachers' contributions to the country and society in the scientific research field. Teachers should be encouraged to stand out through institutional reform. All faculty and staff must work together to promote high-quality, leading research results and excellent academic brands in scientific research. They should foster and build authoritative experts and academic leaders in the field of distance education and create a first-class competitive atmosphere enriched with strong academic research culture. Fourth, they should have honesty and integrity. Teachers should be clearly aware of the importance of maintaining integrity, and regard integrity as a fundamental quality: "great learning makes a teacher; moral integrity makes a model.” A teacher should be knowledgeable and be able to set up a model for virtue fostering. The OUC Party committee has always been committed to creating a clean and ethical environment, striving to create a positive environment and atmosphere, and letting each teacher teach and educate people to the best of their abilities.

During the conference, Cao Guoyong, deputy secretary of the Party committee, read out the Decision on the Commendation of Faculty Members Who Have Worked at the OUC for 30 Years. Jing Degang and Cao Guoyong presented awards to the winners.

Vice president Yang Xiaotang read out the projects and lists that have won the awards at or above school level during the 2018-2019 academic year.
Professor Sun Fuwan, executive vice president of the School of Marxism, spoke on behalf of the faculty and staff who have worked at the OUC for 30 years. Associate Professor Tang Yiting from the Faculty of Agroforestry and Medicine spoke on behalf of the young teachers.

During the conference, a performance celebrating Teachers' Day was held. The school faculty and staff celebrated Teachers' Day in various forms, blessing new China and celebrating the new era.

By Jin Hongyu, OUC