XI'AN, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- Li Yongqin, 50, lives in a dormitory, eats in a public canteen, attends classes and does homework every day.
Li is not a regular college student, but one of 42 Communist Party of China (CPC) officials who just finished a two-week Party training session at the China Executive Leadership Academy in Yan'an (CELAY).
Starting in 2005, the academy in the city of Yan'an in northwest China's Shaanxi Province aims to give "Party spirit education" to CPC officials so that they stay disciplined and serve the public with passion.
Yan'an is the heartland of the early CPC revolutionary activities. The Party spent 13 years fighting and living in Yan'an from 1935 to 1948, creating the "Yan'an Spirit," which emphasizes several qualities, including sticking to the right political direction, liberating thoughts, seeking the truth, self-reliance and serving the people wholeheartedly.
Li, deputy secretary of the CPC Committee of Yunnan Agricultural University, says the training reminds him of his old school days.
"I joined the CPC in 1987, but when I made the admission oath at the academy I still felt very excited," Li said.
Li believes that that the training session has given him a deeper understanding of the Yan'an Spirit.
Such CPC training occurs almost every day at CELAY, which has trained about 77,000 Party officials, most of them at the city and provincial levels, with more than 1,550 training sessions held since it opened.
The officials play a significant role in China's cadre system, but in recent years officials at county level have also been included as part of the country's attempts to pay more attention to its grassroots members.
Training CPC officials in China has been a tradition for many years, and in the 1930s and 1940s Yan'an had more than 20 such schools.
"During the preliminary phase of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, tens of thousands of patriotic young people went to Yan'an to fight for the country, and many training schools were established to train them," said a CELAY staff. "The schools turned out a lot of cadres for future victories."
Training sessions at CELAY can be serious as well as interesting. Officials are often organized in groups on famous sites of early CPC events, with the settings recreated to evoke the early years, using props such as broken stools and desks.
"Listening to the teachers tell stories about the past, in places where the stories actually happened, was quite an experience," said Ge Jinwen, vice president of Hunan University of Chinese Medicine, who attended the training with Li Yongqin. "It felt like we were communicating with the historic figures in person."
One of the major reasons that CELAY was built in Yan'an was that it has a lot of CPC history, which can better educate officials, according to Li Guoxi, CELAY deputy standing dean.
So far, 84 on-spot teaching sites have been created at former CPC sites in Yan'an.
According to CELAY, more than 20 percent of learning materials at the academy are on such areas as Party Constitution, Party discipline and strengthening governance. Discussions about hot topics such as the Belt and Road Initiative are also held.
"The Yan'an Spirit inspired the CPC to fight in past difficulties, and it will continue to inspire CPC officials in the modern era," said a class member from a state bureau.