China / Society

Tibetan students in Beijing take test before they return home

By Zhang Yue (China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-09 07:28

More than 260 students from Beijing Tibet Middle School in the capital's Chao-yang district took part in the national college entrance exam on Saturday.

The school, a testing venue for the examination, had closed all its classrooms for facility and signal checks on Friday afternoon.

On the last day before the exam, the school opened its library for third-year students. The 260 students taking the test, all from the Tibet autonomous region, also gathered for their last self-study session in the classroom.

"I am not very nervous about the exam," said 19-year-old Renchen Dawa.

"I'm only a bit worried about the English test. My vocabulary is very limited, and I am afraid I will encounter many strange words during the English test."

All of the students filled out their forms of intention several weeks ahead of the exam.

Renchen applied for North China Electronic Power University in Beijing as an engineering major.

"I want to go to the university in Beijing so that I will have more experience in big cities before I work in Lhasa," he said.

Most Tibetan students seemed to worry most about English. Luo Chao, an 18-year-old Tibetan student who took the exam in Shanghai, said he felt pressured when he noticed that most students in Shanghai spoke very good English.

Many Tibetan students, who have spent six years or more studying in middle schools in other cities, said they still want to work in Tibet after their university studies.

Luo applied for finance major at Southwestern University of Finance in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, for two reasons: Chengdu is only two hours by air from Lhasa, and he can use his professional knowledge in finance to help people in his hometown, which is in Shannan in Tibet.

Shi Weiling, a 42-year-old chemistry teacher who has been teaching at Beijing Tibet Middle School for 18 years, said that every year, finance and medical majors are students' two most popular choices for university study.

"Tibet is their home, and they want to contribute what they've learned to build their home into a better place," she said.

Every year for these high school graduates, the last week of busy preparation for the exam is also a time for them to prepare to return home. All of the students will be heading back to their homes in Tibet on Monday.

Shi explained that this is because the school is a boarding school, and if students no longer have classes to attend, it will be difficult for the school to host them.

Dawa Phentok, a 19-year-old graduate at the school, had just mailed two bags of books and clothes to her home in Shigatse several days earlier. She smiled but had bittersweet feelings about leaving Beijing.

The girl applied for Shanghai International Studies University, but she said it is because the school she wanted to apply to in Beijing does not recruit Tibetan students for English majors.

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