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Museums have important role to play as second classrooms

China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-20 07:46

Chengdu is constantly improving the long-term exchange mechanism by which primary and middle school students can learn more through museums.[Photo/Xinhua]

According to the National Cultural Heritage Administration on the 34th International Museum Day on Saturday, more than 40,000 exhibitions were held in museums across the country in 2023, attracting 1.29 billion visitors, a record high.

"Museums for Education, and Research" was the theme of this year's IMD, which served as a reminder about the role museums should play. In 1905, when Zhang Jian, a local entrepreneur, founded China's first public museum in Nantong, Jiangsu province, his intention was that it be educational. A museum is like a giant school, and to truly run this school well, it is essential to fully leverage its important role in cultivating people through public education related to culture and history.

Museums connect the past, present and future; it's the place where we can gain a deeper understanding of the past, a clearer grasp of the present, and more strength to create the future. In recent years, more and more museums have been adopting the "child-friendly" mode, allowing children to immerse themselves in the world of cultural relics and artworks, experiencing the charm of history, the brilliance of civilization, and the wonders of nature through immersive experiences that traverse time and space.

By continuing to promote the regular connections between museums and educational institutions, as well as focusing on innovative services, the nation can make museums truly charming and lively, enabling more children to fall in love with museums and gain knowledge and spiritual fulfillment.

Museums can not only spread printed textual knowledge but also offer experiences that cannot be found in books. Literature tells the stories of civilization, which people can obtain through reading. However, museums present a different discourse system. By unleashing people's imagination, museums can bring to life a simple hand axe, an ancient pottery jar, a gentle jade piece with their users long ago. It is this kind of "reading" that allows people to establish a real connection with the splendid cultural heritage, gain spiritual inspiration, and receive spiritual nourishment accumulated over the years.

Museums nationwide have also organized multiple activities such as holding exhibitions in schools and communities, holding cloud exhibitions and strengthening cloud education, and prolonged their opening hours, even to 24 hours a day in some places. By further enhancing research utilization, enriching educational methods, and broadening their services, the "museum fever" will not only continue but also create more consumption scenarios, intricately blending the humanities and the economy, and promoting society-wide enhancement of historical self-awareness and cultural confidence.


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