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Quake-hit students get new life in Beijing

Hou Liqiang
Updated: Aug 27,2014 3:53 PM     China Daily

Students from three of the counties that were affected by the earthquake that rocked Yunnan province on Aug 3 pose at Beijing West Railway Station on Aug 26. They will receive a senior high school education in Beijing.[Photo by Zou Hong / China Daily]

Thirty-six junior high school graduates whose homes and schools were devastated by the Yunnan earthquake have been brought to Beijing so they can continue their studies.

The students are from Ludian, Qiaojia and Huize, three of the counties that were rocked by a 6.5-magnitude earthquake on Aug 3.

More than 600 people died and 80,000 lost their homes.

The students arrived on Aug 26 and will attend Peking University Experimental School for three years. Among the students, 19 were from Ludian, the worst-affected county.

All of their expenses — including tuition fees and living and traveling costs — are being covered by APTECH, a Beijing-based training company. The total cost is estimated at 5.4 million yuan ($877,500).

The students were chosen on the basis of their examination results and interviews with families affected by the quake, said Wu Caixia from the school’s publicity department.

They will undergo military training before starting their classes on Sept 1.

The students registered at their hometown schools, and regulations would normally require them to go back to take the college entrance examination, said Dong Qi, principal of the Beijing school.

As for the high school graduate test, the Yunnan education authorities have agreed to let them take it in Beijing.

Teachers will be assigned to help the youngsters, and group activities will be held for them on weekends, said Dong.

Gu Juan, 15, is from the village of Zhemi in Daqiao, Huize county.

“It’s beyond my expectations that I will be spending the three years of senior high school in Beijing,” she said.

“I had never been to Beijing. I was so excited after hearing the news that I couldn’t fall asleep easily for a few days.”

She said her suitcase, backpack and the clothes she was wearing were all donated by kindhearted people.

“I am very grateful to the people who have helped me and the company that is sponsoring us to study in Beijing,” she added.

“I can do nothing to thank them now, but I will study hard and not let them down.”

Xiao Wenlin, 16, from Zhichang, Huize county, said he will make full use of the facilities at the school.

“I will study hard and make every effort to enter Peking University,” he added.