Across China: Old factory morphs into night school in Chongqing-Xinhua

Across China: Old factory morphs into night school in Chongqing

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-06-10 21:02:15

CHONGQING, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality has long been renowned for its bustling and lively nightlife, with restaurants, bars, clubs and shops open until the early hours of the morning. However, a new "quieter" lifestyle has recently emerged in the city, as young people are choosing to head back to school for night classes.

As one of the exemplary urban renewal programs in Chongqing, the "campus" at night, also known as the Cooperation Units, is not a real school. Instead, it is a creative and cultural park renovated from a factory complex built in the 1950s.

The night school works as a great medium to bridge shops in the park with students and customers. This is because shops in the park double as night school classrooms, and some shop owners are even teachers.

In one coffee shop named "city walk," the young barista Wang Haoran is not only an employee in the coffee shop, but also a latte art teacher at the night school.

"Teaching students at night is quite time-consuming and exhausting for sure, but sharing coffee knowledge with people from all walks of life is also meaningful," said Wang. Even though Chongqing has a long-standing tea culture, the coffee culture has also recently been booming here. In addition to having thousands of coffee shops, Chongqing has also held its own coffee festivals for several years.

Just next to the coffee shop, a pottery art shop is also a heated classroom that has received more than 100 night school students to date. The shelf set at the door's entrance displays all kinds of student pottery products, such as vases, plates or figurines.

"After I quit my job, I opened the pottery art shop here because this old factory complex exudes a tranquil, soothing vibe. Then, our shop was among the first to join the night class program," said Yanzi (pseudonym), the shop owner.

She added that to her surprise, many people are interested in this art. She finds it meaningful that this shop is not just a spiritual habitat for her, but also a potential window for young people to learn about traditional culture.

In addition to serving as characteristic classroom settings, other shops in this park also provide a space for external teachers. Chunxiao (pseudonym), a Korean language teacher, works as a college teacher during the day and comes to one shop to teach Korean language, public speaking and other courses at night.

"I can feel night school students have stronger interests in learning. Also, some treat it as a good social opportunity," said Chunxiao. His wife is also a teacher at the night school and his cousin is a student here.

Since October, the Cooperation Units has launched over 100 courses ranging from acting to calligraphy and attracted more than 4,000 students with both favorable prices and quality content.

"Without the night school, I would lie on the sofa and watch the short videos at the end of the day. The night school is a great nutrient in young people's daily lives, making them feel both relaxed and purposeful," said a student participating in the Korean language class. "If I have more time in the future, I will surely sign up for more classes."

Wang Chao, head of Cooperation Units, said that the building complex had been open for more than two years, but before the night school boom, few knew about it. Now, the night school is a good model that not only brings vibrancy to the local community, but also helps deepen genuine connections among young people.