TFboys’ member talks about time as UNICEF advocate for education
Chinese pop singer and actor Wang Yuan, a member of the highly popular Chinese boy band TFboys, talked about his experiences as UNICEF Special Advocate for Education and visiting schools in some of China’s rural areas at a press conference in Beijing on Monday.
“I always thought that most rural schools have run-down classrooms and outdated facilities, but to my surprise the two schools I visited were modernized and provided a beautiful school environment for education,” Wang said at the press conference.
The 17-year-old star visited two Child-Friendly schools in Sanjiang county, South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, in September after he was appointed by UNICEF as its Special Advocate for Education in June.
Child-Friendly schools are part of a pilot project that was launched by China’s Ministry of Education and UNICEF in 2001. The project aims to improve the quality of education for children aged 6-12 by improving schools’ physical, social and emotional education.
After spending a day at the two schools attending classes with students, teaching them music lessons and playing basketball with them, Wang said that he feels the program “has really helped.”
“China has recognized the value of the Child-Friendly School model so we hope to see this approach replicated across the country,” said Rana Flowers, UNICEF representative to China, at the press conference.
Flowers also explained why UNICEF chose Wang as their special envoy.
“He has expressed such a passion and concern for quality education and being a voice for children’s education that we decided to cooperate with him,” she said.
Wang has risen as an active voice for China’s young generation.
TIME magazine recently included him on its 30 Most Influential Teens of 2017 list along with David Beckham’s son Brooklyn Beckham and Game of Thrones actor Isaac Hempstead Wright.
Wang Yuan of TFboys plays basketball with students at a local primary school in Sanjiang county, South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.