Interviewee¡G Director Wu Xian-Tao

Date¡G December 28, 2005

Place¡G Campus of Wen Chang Elementary School

Interviewers¡GYe Zi-Qing, Lin Shao-En, Cai Xian-Han, Shen Qian-Yu, and Lin Pei-Zhen


Director Wu is always with a broad smile and full of energy. We were happy to interview her. She gave explanations kindly and guided us to walk around, back to the site where the Deng Yun Academy was once situated, so as to let us learn the origins and histories of the Deng Yun Academy and Wen Chang Elementary School . Thus we come to know another facet of Wen Chang Elementary School .

Our interview was as follows:


Q: From what year did you begin to teach in Wen Chang Elementary School ?

A: From 1997.


Q: How much do you know about Wen Chang Elementary School ?

A: The School has a history of 43 years. I know a smattering of its founding and evolution for I have helped collect and process the data of the School history.


Director Wu is explaining the history of the spirit-tablet of Confucius and the incense burner.

Director Wu is explaining the origin of the stele of the Deng Yun Academy .


Q: Do you know the history of the Deng Yun Academy ?

A; The Academy was located where the School is. ¡§The Stele of Honor Roll of the Deng Yun Academy Construction Fund Donors,¡¨ now placed at the School gate, was unearthed in the location of the present-day swimming pool. You have to check historical records to know the history of the Academy.


Q: What are the antiques and relics of that time which have survived?

A: The incense burner, excavated when the building of the School was starting, dates back to year 2 of the Dao Guang period. And the well-known ¡§Stele of Honor Roll of the Deng Yun Academy Construction Fund Donors¡¨ is an antique of year 15 of the Dao Guang period of Qing.


¡§The Stele of Honor Roll of the Deng Yun Academy Construction Fund Donors¡¨

The spirit-tablet of Confucius and the incense burner. The burner is now an antique.



Q: Could you tell us the origin of the Confucian Temple in Wen Chang Elementary School ?

A: The site where Wen Chang Elementary School is located was once the Deng Yun Academy in the period of Dao Guang of Qing. The Academy fell into ruin after two big earthquakes in the Japanese Occupation. In that period, the Japanese was implementing the policy of forcing Taiwanese people to become loyal subjects of Japan . So you could not expect them to repair or rebuilt it.

The Academy, where Confucius was worshiped and his thoughts were taught, sank into ruin. Therefore, the spirit-tablet of Confucius, the incense burner, and historical records were temporarily moved to the Feng Tian Temple . The spirit-tablet was carried back in a pompous procession to the the Wen Chang Shrine in Wen Chang Elementary School when the latter was no longer a branch school but became independent and officially established in 1963.


Q: What was the area of the School in the past?

A: The School used to be very desolate, low, and was often flooded. There were only few houses in the surrounding area. It was used as a landfill by the authorities. When the School was being built, they first dumped garbage into the bottommost part.

Then new earth was put over it. This method repeated many times so that the School had a level ground. The place where the present-day swimming pool is located originally belonged to the Lin family who used it as a pig farm. The place south of the Administration Building was a privately-owned verdant field, later requisitioned and purchased by the government as the School was formally established and expanding.

Before Wen Chang Branch Class was formed, the present-day playground was a paddy field.

The playground of the School now has a grass-green field and a polyurethane track.

Q: How large were the classrooms?

A: Wen Chang Elementary School used to be a branch of Hsin Kang Elementary School and it was a bottomland. After the School was officially established, the bottomland was filled up by trash repeatedly so that the School finally had a level ground on which to build classrooms.

The classrooms were built with bamboos and located where the Yong Qing Building is. The territory of the School in the past included only the Yong Qing Building and the present-day playground. At that time, the main entrance was situated at the west side-gate.


Q: Could you talk about the initial state of the School?

A: The area of the School at that time was less than half the area now. Parts of the walls of the School were fences of bamboos. Students studied in the four one-story, simple and crude classrooms. The courtyards were barren. There was no playground.

The bottomlands were choked with weeds and there were rubbles everywhere. The sewage works ran through the courtyards. The territory was originally a landfill for Hsin Kang Township . Therefore, when the sun blazed down, the air was smelly. When it rained, there was mud everywhere. It is impossible to imagine what the environment was like at that time.


In front of the School was the landfill for Hsin Kang Township .

The square with red bricks is beautiful and elegant. Many activities take place here.


Q: How could the students study in an environment like that?

A: At that time, the principal led students to fill up the landfill with one layer of trash, then one layer of earth, on and on. After less than a year, the School had a level ground. They also planted grass, trees and flowers to beautify and green the campus. So, by and by, the campus looked more like a campus.

When the parents saw that their children were doing laborious work instead of studying, they were not pleased at all. So they had their children transferred to other schools. Wen Chang Elementary School , though placed at a disadvantage, tried to catch up with other schools of high repute. It made progress rapidly. Two-story classrooms were erected one after another.

The roundabout at the main gate, the tank for storing water, and the platform for raising the national flag were built. The banks of sewage ditches were made of stone and there were concrete bridges over the ditches. Historic steles and ¡§The Stele of Honor Roll of the Deng Yun Academy Construction Fund Donors¡¨ were erected on campus.

In addition, the remarkable Deng Yun Memorial Pavilion and the magnificent Wen Chang Chamber have been built. The School history and anthem have been written. The School flag and emblem have been designed. All these show that Wen Chang Elementary School is full of energy and prosperity.



From this interview, we know the history of Wen Chang Elementary School , which comes from the Deng Yun Academy . We also understand that lots of efforts have been pooled to create our School. We should be grateful to the pioneers who tried to create an excellent environment for study. We should give thanks, cherish the blessings, and try to study hard.

We pay homage to Confucius so that with his blessings, we will be able to get good grades.

It is a rare chance to be able to take pictures with Director Wu outside the Wen Chang Shrine.


International Cyberfair 2007 / Wen Chang Elementary School, Hsin Kang Township, Chia Yi County, Taiwan