Research and Public Education

As a non-government group, Zigen has been mostly committed itself to projects of basic needs at the grassroots levels. Over the years, we have expanded our work to an understanding and analysis of social problems in connection with rural education and development we witnessed while implementing projects and working with our local partners. We focus on key problems affecting rural children, women, migrant families, the elderly, etc., and search for possible solutions. Our research results are shared with the academic, policy makers, and fellow NGO workers. The goal of this effort is to educate the public and to raise awareness.

Our research partners

A group of researchers, scholars and concerned individuals have participated in the Zigen research program. We have a highly motivated team who regularly visit villages and schools where projects are carried out. We also involve many local knowledgeable people who have valuable insights and experiences with rural reality.

Research Agenda

High on our list of urgent issues include:

  • Lack of easy access to schools for rural children, as a consequence of school consolidation policy;
  • Problematic conditions for students in the rural boarding schools;
  • Migrant workers communities in the outskirts of urban centers.

Output

  • Based on firsthand data and interview results, a comprehensive analysis and critique of the rural school consolidation policy was done in a research paper titled, “Undesirable consequences of rural school consolidation,” a collective effort led by Pat Yang. The paper was written during 2006-2007, and immediately drew wide attention upon its publication in many forums and journals.
  • In honoring her effort in advocating the basic rights in education of the rural poor in China, Pat Yang was given the “guardian of the public interest award” by the “Chinese Newsweek” in December, 2012.
  • Production and public showings of educational movies, including “Sparrow Villages” and “No Fifth Grade”, both directed by Christine Choi, in both US and China to critical praise.
  • Lectures, presentations and speeches at various venues and occasions.