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The trials of a devoted mother

A MOTHER from Zhejiang Province paid 100,000 yuan (US$14,628) and took a 10-month leave of absence from work to help her son prepare for the college entrance examination in Shanghai.

Yue Li, an accountant in the province's maritime sector, was in the crowd waiting outside as her son left the High School Affiliated to Fudan University, one of the 114 test centers across the city, after finishing the exam yesterday morning.

"Twelve years' pains finally come to the end," she said.

Yue was a small and slender figure holding an umbrella and waiting with other parents outside the test center. But her heart was bursting with ambition for her son's future.

Yue bought an apartment in Shanghai's Minhang District in the name of her son seven years ago to get him a Shanghai residence certificate.

"My friend advised me to do so as Shanghai has more good universities and opportunities for my son's future," she said. "The competition for out-of-town students to get admission to Shanghai universities is fiercer.

"He was studying at a Zhejiang primary school when we planned this for him."

Zhu Yuetianxing, Yue's son, transferred to Shanghai in grade nine and attended Kongjiang High School in Yangpu District. He lived alone in Shanghai but his parents visited regularly.

Last September, Yue moved to the city to help him prepare for the exam.

She rented an apartment near the school and on Saturday, the day before the exam began, they moved into a hotel near the test center.

"I have spent 100,000 yuan on my son's tuition, apartment rents and daily life expenses in Shanghai," she said.

Yue said the past 10 months were very hard for her as well as her son. He was under such great pressure that she even took him to see a psychologist.

"He had difficulty in going to sleep," Yue said. "He even felt physically ill on exam days because of the pressure."

Yue was just as nervous but she had to hide that and continue to be encouraging.

She said she hoped the college entrance examination could imitate overseas universities' application systems, with a sole exam no longer determining a student's fate.


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