JINAN, April 15 (Xinhua) — Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius in east China's Shandong Province, plans to build the country's first teacher museum in the next two to three years.
Local authorities displayed the museum's design concept Saturday and started collecting cultural relics on Chinese teaching activities from the ancient time to the contemporary, and from home and abroad.
"It has a special significance to have the first teachers' museum in the birthplace of Confucius," said Wang Dinghua, head of the teachers' work department under the Ministry of Education.
China has 15.8 billion professional teachers, but it has no professional teacher museums, Wang said.
Qi Wanxue, Communist Party chief of Qufu Teachers' University, said Qufu was a cradle of education in China.
Confucius (551-479 BC), an educator and philosopher, founded Confucianism, a school of thought that deeply influenced later generations. He was also the first Chinese person to set up private schools and enroll students from all walks of life.
Qi said the museum would be built in the western campus of Qufu Teachers' University when its architectural designs have been finished.
Covering a land of 4 hectares and with a floor space of 20,000 square meters, the museum is estimated to involve an investment of 200 million yuan (31.9 million U.S. dollars).
An 83-year-old professor with the Qufu Teachers' University has donated more than 2,700 Confucius' badges, statues and portraits to the museum.