Chinese delegates Peijun Yang, president of R & F Property Developments Group and translator and consultant Chunlei Zhang travelled to the local area recently.
The two day visit was in honour of the recently formed partnership between the Chinese company and the School District 91 business company.
Ray LeMoigne, School District 91 business company president said the visit enabled Yang and Zhang to visit School District 91 schools, local communities and several mills including Hampton’s Decker Lake Forest Products and Babine Forest Products.
“The delegates arrived as part of a preliminary visit to the district by delegations from the Xianghe education community, the Xianghe wood sector and magistrate’s office,” He said further delegations are being arranged for late November or early December 2011, dependent upon the Canadian visa process.
The delegates were given tours of Lakes District Secondary School and Nechako Valley Secondary School. Both schools are paired as ‘sister schools’ with the Xianghe Number One High School and the High School attached to Beijing University of Technology in China.
They were able to see the local schools in action, as well as meet with the School District 91 board of education, representatives from the College of New Caledonia Lakes District campus, University of Northern B.C. and Village of Burns Lake councillors John Illes and Luke Strimbold.
“An ‘education dinner’ was held in Burns Lake and attended by School District 91 educational representatives. A ‘wood sector dinner’ was also held in Vanderhoof.”
According to LeMoigne, Yang was instrumental in introducing the Education Bureau directors and principals associated with the Chinese schools to the School District 91 business company during his visit to Beijing and Xianghe last April.
Since that time, agreements between the associated education bureaus and School District 91, as well as between the schools for twinning initiatives have been signed.
“The education dinner provided an opportunity for local officials to welcome Mr. Yang, thank him for his work in helping create our international education partnerships and extend the invitation for future visits and educational exchanges between our schools. Mr. Yang expressed great pleasure in having the opportunity to visit our communities, schools and mills and how much he was impressed with the beauty of our region, the high quality and cleanliness of our schools, the friendliness of our staff and students and his willingness to continue to support future educational initiatives as they are developed. He said that he and the principals and directors of the bureaus and schools in China see great benefit for their students from exposure to Canadian education and a keen desire to have students and teachers from our district take part in exchanges, camps and studies in their schools.”
LeMoigne said the School District 91 business company remains focused on the development of educational programs and is not getting into the wood business.
“As a courtesy to Mr. Yang for his work in developing the educational partnerships to date and in the interest of supporting opportunities that may enhance economic growth in our communities we have helped to facilitate the introduction of our regions key leaders in the wood sector to Mr. Yang and his colleagues,” LeMoigne added.