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August 29, 2009

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School in poor area proves a class act

A TOTAL of 531 pupils will start their new fall semester next week in the Swiss-style building of what has been dubbed the nation's most beautiful Project Hope school which opened yesterday in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

The school, covering 2,000 square meters, enjoys a picturesque view as it stands on a mountain along the Yangtze River in Chongqing's Yunyang County, yesterday's Chongqing Evening News reported.

The school received its "most beautiful" tag after its picture first appeared online.

Its high cost of 3.5 million yuan (US$512,393) has also raised public eyebrows, compared with the normal price of 400,000 yuan to build such a school as ruled by the China Youth Development Foundation.

The foundation has introduced the charity Project Hope to finance the building of primary schools in rural areas where money is short.

The Yunyang school boasts advanced equipment, according to an unnamed official of China Overseas Holdings Ltd, the school's donor.

"We will give the best facilities possible to the children," he said.

All the pupils at this school are from families who were relocated to Yunyang to make way for the Three Gorges Dam project, according to the newspaper.

Students seem excited about the new school.

Ran Haiyang, a grade-four girl, said she was happy as she could live on the new campus now, rather than walk nearly an hour of mountain roads every day to get to her previous school.

There were washrooms on every floor at the school, and students would never have to race to a remote toilet between classes, she said.


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