BEIJING, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games might have concluded but school campuses in China are brimming with the Games' spirit, as students kickstart their spring semester with vibrant activities themed on Beijing 2022.
Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon -- the mascots of Beijing 2022 -- greeted students of Beijing Guangqumen Middle School at the campus gate on Monday. The school had invited two students to put on the fluffy costumes to offer an exuberant welcome to the students as they began the new semester.
The school also held an Olympic torch relay at its reopening ceremony in which student representatives from each grade took over a torch from the headmaster, who was a torchbearer at the Winter Olympics, and carried it around the playground.
Kindergartens, and primary and middle schools in Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province, resumed classes last week. The Hefei Taishan Kindergarten organized sporting activities such as dryland hockey and sledding to usher in the new semester and help kindle enthusiasm for winter sports among children.
Meanwhile, students of Shanghai XinJing Middle School spent their first class of the new semester last week watching highlights of the Winter Olympics to soak up the Games' fervor.
A teacher at Shanghai's Hongqiao Middle School dressed as Bing Dwen Dwen to greet students at the school gate, and students were treated to heartwarming anecdotes of athletes during the school's reopening ceremony, kickstarting the new term with vigor and enthusiasm.
Zhu Lei, father of a first grader at Beijing No.2 Experimental Primary School, said that his son's foray into Olympic trivia began during last winter vacation.
Thanks to the country's "double reduction" policy that was rolled out in July 2021 to alleviate the pressure of excessive schoolwork and off-campus tutoring, his son had ample free time to indulge in extra-curriculum activities.
"During last winter vacation, my son took the initiative to write a casual essay about the Winter Olympics, and developed a habit of learning something new about the Olympics every day through TV programs and books," Zhu said.
"The 'double reduction' policy has freed the kids from the clutches of excessive academic burden, allowing them to dedicate their time to whatever they are interested in rather than being buried in homework and extra lessons," he added.
Education authorities in China reiterated their stance earlier this month ahead of the spring semester, calling for more appropriate homework assignments, a higher level of classroom teaching, and higher quality of after-school services to fully implement the policy.
Students spent less time doing homework in the past school semester, and over 92 percent of students across the country voluntarily participated in after-school services, said Lyu Yugang, an official with China's Ministry of Education. ■