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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 19:07 GMT
School Day 24: Urban-rural China
Pupils taking part in the link-up

Students at three schools - urban, semi-urban and rural - in Guangdong province linked up to discuss how they can bridge the gap between cities and the countryside and reduce the inequality between rich and poor.

Thirty students from the three schools and some other 200 students from all over Guangdong province took part in the special broadcast.

Question: What do you care about most?

Pupil from Tian Jiabing High School: We care most about our studies, because we will be facing college/university entrance exams in a year's time [A-level equivalent], which in a way determines our future.

Pupil from Feng Xia Middle School: I agree with him - studying is very important to us, especially those of us who are poor students.

Pupil from Tian Jiabing High School: Only 20% of my time is spent on preparing for the college entrance exams, 80% of time doing other things. My parents think it's fine, they think I am old enough to decide what's best for myself.

Question: University fees and living expenses are high, so how do poor students' families cope?

Pupil from Feng Xia Middle School: I used to be very concerned about this, but right now this is not our biggest worry. I think the most important thing is getting into a university - getting into a good one. There's financial aid available for poor students, like student loans, so I think the most important thing is getting into a good university.

Pupil from Tian Jiabing High School: Students aren't put off by the potential financial burden. We can always work part time - society provides us with plenty of opportunities, and it will be very good experience, so I am sure we can cope.

Question: What do you think about school romance? Would your parents agree with it?

Poster in Guangdong
Over 200 students from all over the province took part in the link-up

Pupil from Affiliated High School of South China Normal University (Huanan): I think you can be friends with both boys and girls. Friendship shouldn't be limited to the same sex. And romance... well there's really no big deal, I think. But since we are still busy studying, we should know our limits.

Pupil from Tian Jiabing High School: Peer group pressure could be big if you don't have a boyfriend [laughter] because people might think there is something wrong with you.

Pupil from Feng Xia Middle School: I think we have come to an age that we become more and more interested in the opposite sex, and they are more and more attractive. My parents are very nervous about my studies. They may not like me having a girlfriend but they will understand.

Question: How do you define a blessed life, a good life?

Pupil from Tian Jiabing High School: From three aspects: culturally, spiritually, and materially. Spiritually, being happy every day, I enjoy playing football.

Map of Guangdong province, China

Pupil from Affiliated High School of South China Normal University (Huanan): No matter what I am going to do in the future, my parents are totally supportive of me - that's a good life.

Pupil from Tian Jiabing High School: I think an ordinary life is a good life. Fame and vanity don't have any meaning. What I want to do is to provide for my parents, making sure they retire well, making them happy, that will be a good life for me.

Pupil from Feng Xia Middle School: Money is not everything. Being self-sufficient, then offer our help to the less privileged. This is the way to make our society and country a better place.

Question: What do you think about the problems of pollution?

Pupil from Affiliated High School of South China Normal University (Huanan): Environmental problems require imminent attention, this is a very serious problem. and there're many things we could do from a personal level, such as don't drop litter, turning off the tap after use, switching off TV, computer, etc.

Question: What do you see yourself doing in 10 years' time?

Pupil from Tian Jiabing High School: I am going to be a boss. I will run a company making lots of money, because I am from a poor family, and I hate poverty.

Pupil from Feng Xia Middle School: I want to be the next Bill Gates. I want to help more poor people make their dreams come true.

Pupil from Affiliated High School of South China Normal University (Huanan): I think our future lies in cities. You can't improve the rural lives just by being there. When I gain success in my future business I could use my money to help the poor in the rural area.




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