Manual work is perhaps the most fundamental practical activity. Children need to gain hands-on skills and experiences to understand the meaning of doing manual work and, appropriately, household chores are therefore an important part of their education.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Huili pupils have proactively participated in fundraising, exercising and online learning, fully demonstrating their responsibility awareness, selflessness and self-discipline.
In the meantime, we realised that learning is not restricted to only studying the major disciplines, but covers all-round knowledge including reading, doing manual work and working on more general means of personal attainment.
On 20th March 2020, the State Council and Central Committee of Communist Party of China released Opinions on the Strengthening Labour Education in Primary, Secondary and Colleges in the New Era. According to this regulation, all schools across the country should conduct practical activities of labour education and families play a vital role in promoting labour education at home.
As pupils continue to study at home during these exceptional circumstances, Huili Primary School held an activity centred around the theme of labour education, which was: ‘taking responsibility to do manual work’, aiming to encourage pupils to do what they can at home.
The significance of education is to ignite pupils’ passion for life, enabling them to create and maintain a happy life.
Adults should give their children the freedom to do what they should do. Doing housework by themselves will help them get to know why we should all learn to do manual work. Subsequently, they will develop an awareness of the importance of manual work, encouraging them to treat others and their work with respect.
Pupils at Primary School are often motivated to observe how their family members do household chores at home. Their observation results are invisible achievements for them and give them a new perspective on the nature of manual tasks.
Pupils have shared their thoughts in our moral education classes, expressing their respect and gratitude to their family members in terms of their heavy workload and long working hours. Training pupils to respect manual work is a positive way to cultivate their sense of responsibility, social justice and gratitude.
Doing housework is an important aspect of practising the principles of labour education. It is also a direct way for children to get involved in manual work and take due responsibility for the maintenance of their homes, something that will help prepare them for homeownership one day as they learn how to take care of themselves and their immediate surroundings. This echoes our Huili Identity of being inspired and independent.
We summarised some guidelines for parents to help children better engage in housework: