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From: China Daily 2011-08-22 09:39:00
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Education is the key to destiny

After holding a graduation dinner and taking photos with his classmates at the School of Chinese Language and Literature of Beijing Normal University, Zhuqu Tengpa Gyatso's next stop will be a junior high school in Ngari prefecture, Tibet autonomous region.

"I'm worried that I won't be able to update my micro blog because the Internet in Ngari is inconsistent," says the 26-year-old, who was born in Tibet and is about to become a teacher.

He is one of the first students to graduate from the "Free Teacher Education" project, that was launched in 2007 and offers free education to hundreds of students at six Chinese universities every year. In return they have to work in their hometown elementary or high schools for 10 years after graduation.

Zhuqu Tengpa Gyatso learned how to teach during his four years at university, in addition to taking courses on Chinese literature. He also took part in an annual chalk handwriting competition, as it is indispensable for Chinese teachers working in rural areas.

"Regular college tuition fees would have been a burden for my family," says the first college student from his hometown of Kemar township in Zhongba county. "However that's not the only reason why I chose to join the project. If you go to my hometown, you will understand why."

He was raised to be a shepherd, like the rest of his family. It was his father who wanted a different life for him.

"When my dad took me to school for the first time, some neighbors thought it was because we were so poor we needed government support."

His father used to have a retail business in Lhasa, capital of the autonomous region, but it failed. Even so, his experience of city life convinced him of the need for education. 

[editor : ]
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