URUMQI, July 2 (Xinhua) -- A few days ago, instead of attending the regular class that uses blackboard and chalks, primary school student Abduzak Abdusalam had a multimedia lesson at the school in Xihexiu Township in the Karakoram mountains, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Karakoram, which means "black monolith," is a sparsely populated region due to its altitude and ruggedness. Located at an average elevation of 3,500 meters, 99 percent of the township is in mountainous areas. It was often left in darkness as the region mainly counted on unstable solar power to generate electricity.
Dawut Wusiman, vice-principal of the township's central primary school, said that due to the poor stability of photovoltaic power and frequent power outages on rainy and snowy days, some multimedia teaching equipment in the school could not be used normally.
"The students had to do their homework in dim light by keeping their heads low, and they could only freshen up in their dorm under a flashlight," said Zeng Xiaoming, a teacher of the school.
"Sometimes, students would tumble down on the road due to poor visibility at night. In winters, we could only use coal stoves to keep the classrooms warm, and the black smoke made them cough a lot," Zeng said.
"Lack of stable electricity is detrimental to the students' health, let alone quality education," said Dawut Wusiman.
In order to solve the problem of electricity supply in Xihexiu Township, hundreds of staff members from the power department started working on the cliff to upgrade the power grid last August.
On June 25, with the completion of the power transmission project in Xihexiu, local residents finally bid farewell to "counting on the sky" for power generation and welcomed steady access to power.
The school now has electric heaters, and more than 700 teachers and students in the school can finally use the distance education system and multimedia teaching equipment.
"The classroom is much brighter," said a joyous Abduzak Abdusalam. "It's intriguing to see the teachers operate multimedia tools. We even heard that we can talk online with our friends in Beijing."
"Multimedia teaching equipment and distance learning system will help our children enjoy high-quality educational resources, and improve teaching quality of the school," said Dawut Wusiman. Enditem