A modern fairy tale

By Wang Kaihao | China Daily | Updated: 2020-04-01 08:29
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Yip teaches drama and plays with his students during classes held in Shanghai in 2019.[Photo provided to China Daily]

More than rewarding

At the end of the project, three winners will be given round-trip tickets from China to Denmark to visit the writer's hometown, but Yip does not see the project as a competition. "It's more like encouragement for creativity," Yip says. "The works by the winners may not be that exquisitely-made, but they will offer a fresh angle."

All of the submissions may have the chance to be exhibited in the future when the outbreak ends, Yip says, adding that "it will be meaningful for us to look back upon our life in the days of the crisis".

They are already being "exhibited" in digital form on Yip's official public WeChat account.

"It's hard to compare different art genres, but people can view all the works on this open platform and have their own opinions," he says, adding that a judging group comprising 15 leaders from the education sector and different fine art genres were invited to choose the winners.

Qian Zhilong, a veteran independent researcher on education, is one of them. He places priority on "reflection of true emotions". Qian believes that the Andersen award project will have a lasting legacy for Chinese children.

"Andersen was mediocre at school, but his achievements finally attracted worldwide attention due to the power of dreams," Qian says. "In today's schools, children are still faced with a ubiquitous judging system that is based on test papers, which often nips in the bud children's power to dream."

Qian says he hopes that by participating in this program, people will be more inspired after they learn more about Andersen's own story.

The judge also says that the pandemic has given society a chance to re-evaluate the current education system, when the pause button of this "assembly line" is finally pushed after becoming overheated.

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