Gao Xinyu (L3), Ma Liucheng (R1) and their team members stand with their mentor Huang Shengyi (Middle). PROVIDED TO TEENS
What happens when students work with a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)? Goals are achieved.
Gao Xinyu, 17, and five other students from Shanghai Fengxian Shuguang High School entered the Model CPPCC last year, an event organized by the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China and the All-China Students’ Federation. The event invites high school students, college students and young professionals to “gain a deeper understanding of and participate in the country’s political activities”.
Gao and her team wrote a proposal with the help of their politics teacher Huang Shengyi and Jin Yan, a CPPCC member of Fengxian district, Shanghai. The 2020 Model CPPCC attracted 44,800 participants and 1,605 entries across the country. Gao’s team’s proposal was chosen as one of the 10 best entries.
Their proposal focuses on smart home-based care for the elderly. To get a better understanding on the issue, they carried out an online survey targeted at those aged 60 and above, as well as their families. The team received feedback from 1,307 people across the country, covering 23 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.
They not only sought input from the elderly, but social workers and people who work in nursing homes. “At the beginning, I thought we should only interview the elderly,” Gao said. “But teacher Jin advised us to interview various groups who might inspire us.” The word count of one of their interviews reached nearly 10,000.
“Their issues reflect characteristics of the era – that is to apply technology to care for seniors,” Jin said. “I recommended that they further investigate.”
“他们的问题反映了时代的特点 —— 将科技应用于养老，”金彦表示。“我建议他们做进一步的调研。”
But to accomplish the task was not easy. One challenge was to communicate with the old, “especially with those who have hearing problems and don’t speak Mandarin well”, Gao said.
Another was how to balance study and off-campus activities. “With a clear assignment distribution, the work didn’t burden me,” Gao said. Each team member undertook a different task, including doing interviews, making videos and working as a spokesperson, according to Ma Liucheng, 17, another team member.
The most challenging part was drafting a proposal, and that’s where Jin and Huang lent a professional hand. Jin shared his experience from years of work as a CPPCC member.
“I learned a lot,” Gao said. Jin was happy about what the team accomplished. “For teenagers, it’s a really good chance to raise concerns about society by attending such an event,” Jin said.