By Mang Jiuchen, People’s Daily
The East Pyongyang No. 1 Middle School located in Tongdaewon-guyok of downtown Pyongyang is well-known throughout the DPRK.
Inside the brand new teaching building, a billboard calling for students to always be ready for the country is hung in the corridor together with an honor roll. It’s set to encourage and motive students to study even harder, which is quite impressive.
Established in 1985, the school ranks top nationwide in terms of education and management, said the vice principal Yun sung guk.
Now there are about 1,000 students and over 110 faculty members at the school, said Yun.
Mao Zedong Class, another name of Class 2 Grade 11, is a special class consisting of 24 students at the School.
It has been sixty years since the name Mao Zedong Class was coined in 1959, said Yun. In 1950, the Kim Il-sung Class was established at the Class 1 Grade 8 of Beijing No.5 High School.
The vice principal recalled that the Mao Zedong Class was originally set up at the Sinri High School in Pyongyang, and then the honor went to the East Pyongyang No. 1 Middle School after the previous school was merged into the new one.
For a long time, the East Pyongyang No. 1 Middle School and Beijing No. 5 High School have kept friendly exchanges, said Yun.
A big photo hung in the first-floor showroom is eye-catching. It was taken in 2010 when some teachers and students of the school visited Beijing and met with their counterpart of the Kim Il-sung Class.
The two schools celebrated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Kim Il-sung Class together, Yun said, pointing at the photo. The two schools will maintain the friendly exchanges and pass the DPRK-China friendship from generation to generation, he expressed.
Hong seon hui is a teacher of the Mao Zedong Class. Before taking an interview with People’s Daily, she was having a class. Her students were listening to her carefully and taking notes, with their textbooks and notebooks neatly put on the desks.
The teacher told People’s Daily that it’s both an honor and responsibility to teach the Mao Zedong Class.
“We’ll try our best to educate students and help them become pillars of the nation,” Hong said.
The Class carries the traditional friendship between people of China and the DPRK, Hong said. The teachers will hold various activities for the students to learn the importance and the latest progress of the friendship between the two countries.
DPRK’s top leader Kim Jong Un pays high attention to the friendly relations with China and actively promotes the further development of bilateral ties. The school will inform students of relevant information via newspapers.
“I feel greatly honored to be part of the Mao Zedong Class,” said a student named Maeng wi jin.
“I’ll study even harder in the future, and make contributions to my country and to the further development of friendship between the DPRK and China,” he told People’s Daily.
“I’m excited and welcome President Xi Jinping’s visit to the DPRK,” said the teacher.
She added that China is a friendly neighbor of the DPRK. It’s believed that President Xi’s visit will further advance the bilateral friendly relations and cement the traditional friendship forged by the older generation of leaders of both countries.