Rouhieh Tabibzadegan – Yunnan University of Finance and Economics


Rouhieh Tabibzadegan, a Canadian teacher at Yunnan University of Finance and Economics (YUFE), shared her personal experience of China’s development, especially the changes and achievements of compulsory education in rural Yunnan, with Science and Technology Daily recently. She said that the Chinese path of modernization is a path that unites the strength of all people and creates a new way of human progress. She feels honored and inspired to be a part of China’s development and hopes to continue to make her contributions in the future.

A Childhood Dream

“Coming to China has been a dream of mine since I was a child,” Tabibzadegan said, adding that China is the love of her life and it is a great gift and honor to live in and serve the country.

In 2003, she made a tour of China with Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan province, as her last stop. She found Yunnan to be a special place because, “There are about 26 ethnic groups here.”

Having lived in Yunnan for two decades, Tabibzadegan witnessed the rapid economic development, the improvement of local village schools, and the increased literacy of people in rural areas. China has achieved the goal of eradicating poverty, but this goal needs to be sustained, she said, adding that, “I would like to be part of that process.”

Canadian Mom

Tabibzadegan has been working at YUFE since 2005. Over the years, she has kept up with the university’s teaching reform needs by conducting English debates, speech contests, choral competitions, and holiday parties. Her lively teaching style is loved by her students who affectionately call her “Canadian Mom.”

She considers it an honor to be called “Canadian Mom” and is always ready to give her all for her students, sacrificing her own comfort and well-being as mothers do. For Tabibzadegan teaching is not just a job, “What is more important is what is in our hearts and what we want for our students,” she said.

In addition, Tabibzadegan uses her free time to teach English in more than 20 primary schools, most of which serve the children of disadvantaged migrant workers and cannot afford foreign teachers. “Doing this volunteer work is actually a gift to me because it allows me to help others,” she said, adding that not only focusing on ourselves but also helping those in need makes us human.

A Special Flower

It’s commonly believed that Yunnan is geographically remote, but for Tabibzadegan, Yunnan is an important spot on the map of China given its location and connection to other parts of Southeast Asia.

“Every province [in China] is a different flower. And every flower has its own characteristics and needs. Yunnan is a special flower with its unique beauty,” she said, noting that only by taking care of each flower can China become a beautiful bouquet of flowers. She is now doing her job to provide as much sunshine and water as possible. This is also what the Chinese government has been doing, rolling out a series of favorable policies that benefit all people and ensure that no place is left behind.

“China is my second hometown,” she said, adding that she is happy to realize her childhood dream and is willing to dedicate her whole life to the course of education and helping as many people as possible.

This article is also contributed by YUFE.

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