Chinese Student Rejected From College Because of Disability, Reminds Us Not To Take Education For Granted

 

As any high school senior would know, applying to college can be in itself a stressful situation. Just thinking about the application process, financial aid and, of course, waiting around for the letter that will ultimately determine your future, is enough to cause a whirlwind of unnerving emotions.

In the grand scheme of things however, it’s easy to forget that most of us are lucky to even have the option of going to college at all. Especially when we live in a world where girls in other countries, like activist Malala Yousafazi, are banned from going to school under the Taliban rule because of their gender.

 

 

Fujian student Liu Wanling, a bright girl who regularly achieved high grades in her classes, unfortunately faced a huge obstacle when she applied to Jiang Xia College. Though she had scored 549 on her gaokao (the national college and university entrance exam), she was denied admission due to failing a physical test, because she is handicapped. For those of you unfamiliar with the gaokao test, it is the ultimate test that determines a student’s placement into university. Unlike the SAT, the gaokao can only be taken once a year, which means it is the only shot that most Chinese students have at attending their dream schools.

 

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According to Shanghaiist, Liu received a phone call by the university, who asked her if she would be willing to change to a less popular major. Liu agreed, but after a meeting was held by the school, as well as a discussion with doctors, they came to the consensus that she would not be able to attend the university. Disheartened by the news, Liu told reporters, “I’ve already prepared myself for the worst, but even if I try again next year, will I still be denied admission?”

Liu’s story was later posted by a user on Weibo, and immediately attracted the attention of many Chinese users. As of today, there are over 600 comments from angry netizens on the trending topic, defending Liu and even calling China “an abyss that kills people’s hope.”

 

This Inspirational Chinese Village Teacher Single-Handedly Taught Hundreds of Orphans

 

I was never fond of elementary school. In fact, I was one of those kids who could never pay attention to anything but the sound of the ticking clock in the classroom, counting down the minutes until I could grab my friends and run outside to the playground.

Sound familiar? Well, maybe this story of a Chinese villager will change your mind about your animal cracker-eating days that have long since passed. Perhaps it will even make you feel nostalgic for your childhood as well.

Zeng Xiangwei was a villager living in rural Hunan (a province of south-central China), who was left to raise his two grandchildren. Despite the poor conditions of his home, Zeng raised them with his wife and gave them a proper family life.

 

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But his warmth and generosity didn’t just end there. Thirty-eight years ago, Zeng also volunteered to teach orphaned children in an old, dingy, abandoned warehouse that was converted into a school in the ’60s. Now at the age of 56 and doing double duty as headmaster of the school, Zeng has taught more than 600 children — 10 of whom have even gone on to study at universities in China. He is also the only teacher at this institution.

 

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To this day, he continues to teach his current 13 students with curricula that he plans and prepares by himself, but also makes sure to include fun activities.

 

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The crafty man also teaches his students the art of paper-folding.

 

 

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In addition to being a fatherly figure to his grandchildren and students, Zeng is also the village handyman and always steps up to fix satellite TVs wherever there may be a bad connection. On top of all of that, he returns home every day to tend to his three acres of rice fields.

 

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Zeng, who was nominated as one of the best village teachers in Hunan, says he has plans to retire in four years, but that he “has never regretted” the last 38 years of his life, single-handedly teaching hundreds of children.

 

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You Won’t Believe What These Kids Risk Their Lives For

Our 2014 resolutions may be filled with dreams of a healthier diet, a proper sleep schedule and less procrastination. But there’s something many of us have overlooked for the new year. How about the resolution to be more thankful?

By simply reading this, you already prove that you have a lot to be appreciative of. You have access to a computer and more importantly, you have had an education which taught you how to read. And let’s be honest now. In the midst of worrying about school, work, or what your future will look like, you probably haven’t taken some time out of your day to be thankful for the luxury of literacy, right?

Well, now is the time.

I’m sure many of us can remember some grumpy mornings getting up for school. But in reality, we didn’t have much to complain about compared to kids around the world who walk miles, climb dangerous bridges and risk their life every day simply to get to school and have an education.

You’ll definitely think twice before complaining about early morning traffic.

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A child using what is left of a bridge in Indonesia.

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Collapsed bridges in Indonesia.

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Children in the Philippines using an inflatable tube to cross flooded rivers.

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Planks dangerously over aqueducts.

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school 9 school 10 school 11Students who swim through rivers to get to school in Vietnam.

(Source)

Three Reasons To Be A Proud Asian American Woman in The U.S.

Being both a woman and a person of color can hold its share of obstacles here in the United States. We drown in racial stereotypes on the daily ranging from things as small as “Asian women can’t drive” to things as serious as “Asian women don’t get breast cancer.”

Because of this, we have undoubtedly faced our share of struggles and pressures. In fact, Asian American teenage girls have the highest rate of depressive symptoms of any racial, ethnic or gender group, Asian American girls and women aged 15 to 24 die from suicide at a higher rate than any other racial or ethnic group, and Asian American women over 65 have the highest suicide rate in that demographic.

Clearly, we have quite a bit to overcomes and a handful of issues that need to be further addressed, but this should not make us forget the many ways in which Asian American women have strived here in the United States.

Our hard work and determination is a force to be reckoned with. We have been making strides in education, health, business and countless other fields.  Slowly, but surely, others are starting to notice it too. Below are three of the many reasons to be a proud Asian American woman in the United States:

 

1. EDUCATION

grad capAsian American women have achieved a higher level of educational attainment than women of any other race. In 2004, Asian women surpassed caucasian women for having the highest rate of college graduates.  Now in 2013, Asian American women 8.36 % of bachelor’s degrees, even though Asian women only consist of 5.14% of the female population.

2. BUSINESS

businessThere are over 600,000 Asian American women-owned businesses in the United States. This is an increase of 83% since 2002 and 156% since 1997. The top three states with the highest numbers are California with 193,300, New York with 68,700 and Texas with 51,800 Asian American women-owned businesses.

 

 

3. POLITICS

jean quanThere are six Asian American women in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate, totaling to seven Asian American women in Congress. There are 32 Asian American women serving in state legislatures and an Asian American woman mayor—Jean Quan from Oakland, California.

 

(source)

 

Burka Avenger: Teacher by Day, Superhero by Night

Burka Avenger, Pakistan’s first animated female superhero, is on a mission for girls’ education. Donning a burka and using pencils and books as weapons, she fights villains intent on shutting down her school, including corrupt politicians and an evil magician. The show promotes the value of women’s education in a region where the Taliban continues to attack female students and schools in an attempt to suppress their education. Just earlier this month, Malala Yousafzai spoke before the UN, urging world leaders to fight for education.

The show’s creator, Pakistani pop star Haroon, funded the Urdu-language cartoon with the help of an anonymous donor. Orphaned children outside of Islamabad were shown a sneak peek of the show and responded positively to its mix of slapstick humor and resounding messages.

Responding to questions about the choice of burka as superhero costume, Haroon said, “It’s not a sign of oppression. She is using the burka to hide her identity like other superheroes. Since she is a woman, we could have dressed her up like Catwoman or Wonder Woman, but that probably wouldn’t have worked in Pakistan.”

Here’s the English-language trailer for “Burka Avenger.” The show airs in August on Geo TV.