Children’s Palace

(Shaoniangong)
Also called the Youth Palace (Qingshaoniangong) in some places, the Children’s Palace is an after-school educational institution implemented by the PRC government to enhance moral education and extracurricular activities for primary and secondary school students. A non-profit organization, the operation of the Children’s Palace is under the supervision of the local Communist Youth League committee or, in some cases, under the Bureau of Education. The Children’s Palace was first established in the capital city and a few big cities in the mid 1950s, when most of the elementary schools had to divide the students into morning and afternoon classes to meet the rapid increase in enrolments. The Children’s Palace played an instrumental role in providing the students with educational activities during the long out-of-school hours. In the 1960s, many provincial capitals established the Children’s Palace, but its operation was virtually stopped during the Cultural Revolution.
The Children’s Palace flourished again in the 1980s after the fall of the Gang of Four. By the end of the 1990s, it was found in most major cities of the PRC, and some cities had more than one in different districts.
The Children’s Palace offers a rich array of enrichment programmes, such as science, music, performing and visual arts, creative writing, computer technology and sports. It also provides special training programmes for the talented. Many young talents trained there later became the nation’s leading artists, athletes and specialists in different fields. The Children’s Palace also takes the role of coordinating convocations and contests among the schools in the area.
QIU PEIPEI

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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