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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 1, No. 11 June 15, 1938

Learning Prized

Learning Prized

Universities Aid in Struggle

"One of the reasons the Japanese have had no major successes recently may be attributed to the work or Chinese students." said Mr. K. Wong She, when I asked him to comment on the aspects of the present Sino-Japanese "incident" that concern the student class in China. "You see." he added, "the Chinese Government has recognised the great value of the students to the community and has engaged them to work amongst the illiterate behind the lines."

Mr. Wong She who, by the way, was the head master of a night school at the age of 17, came out to New Zealand in 1934 and went to Scots College where I first met him. Last year he returned to China to take up a commercial course in the Ling Nan University, Canton, but was forced to come again to Ao Tea Roa when the University was closed by Government order two months after the outbreak of hostilities. Japanese planes, incidentally, had bombed Canton everyday—frequently three times a day during that period. But or the five universities there, the only one to suffer any real damage was the National Tung Shan University.

The way in which the Chinese prize learning is well known and my old friend even went so far as to say that Chinese scholars would rather die than leave their schools. The Government had decided their course for them, however, for the Japanese, knowing of their love of scholastic attainment, had aimed at destroying as many of China's universities, schools and colleges as possible. Indeed, two-thirds of the universities throughout China have already been razed to the ground.

Evangelistic Tactics.

"The vast majority of the people in China are Illiterate." continued Mr. Wong She. "so after the universities were closed, the students were mobilised and sent out to spread their learning amongst the people. Some would go into the streets and teach from an open book first telling all those in the vicinity that if they wanted to learn something they had only to gather about the speaker as he was about to give a lesson." He smiled and made a comment I didn't quite catch about our open air Gospel [unclear: meetings].

Others were sent to tell the people what to do in the event of air raids and still further batches of students—mostly from the National Tung Shan University, one branch of which is equivalent to our Massey Agricultural College were detailed to encourage potato cropping instead of rice cultivation, This measure was brought in to minimize famine dangers as potatoes may be grown all the year round whereas rice is harvested only twice a year.

"Many of the schools and Colleges in China have been re-opened in safe places well behind the lines." added Mr. Wong She, "though the university have opened in the cities as usual. Those attending them, how over are receiving intensive milltary training in addition to carrying on their ordinary studies, and from here they will go not to train the great mass of the people in the art of war.

"The effect of the work that is now being carried out by the students is already being felt by the Japanese who have not had a major success for some time. Before the war China was split up into a dozen different camps. Now her people have joined together to oppose Japan in a united front. China must win in the end."