Chinese mother enters college with son

A Chinese mother from Siziwang banner, Ulanqab, north China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, will be going to college along with her son this year, after they both took China’s college entrance exam, the gaokao.

(Photo/Inner Mongolia Daily)

Narina, who is 43 years old, scored 404 in the exam, well above the minimum score of 344 required for admission to the second batch of universities for undergraduate education in Inner Mongolia for liberal arts students who were taught in Mongolian.

She was eventually admitted to the tourism management program of one of the first batch of universities for undergraduate education at the Inner Mongolia University of Finance and Economics, as the region lowered the minimum score for admission on August 19 to recruit more students for these universities.

Narina’s son, a science student, scored 520, the highest out of all the science students taught in Mongolian in the city of Ulanqab.

But many have asked why Narina would take the gaokao when she is already in her forties.

In 1997, when she was a grade three high school student, Narina gave up the opportunity to sit the gaokao, as her mother suffered a serious leg disease and was no longer able to take care of herself.

After leaving school, she had to take care of her mother at home while also tending to their cattle and sheep.

(Photo/Inner Mongolia Daily)

In 2001, China’s Ministry of Education lifted the restrictions on the maximum age and marital status of candidates for gaokao.

In 2011, as the system became more flexible, anyone with a high school graduation certificate or equivalent education level could apply to sit the gaokao.

Feeling excited about this change, she bought learning materials and prepared herself for the exam.

However, as her daughter was still in kindergarten and her husband would have to take care of all the housework and production by himself if she spent all her time studying, she let the opportunity go once again.

This year, she finally took the exam and realized her dream of going to college.

“I knew my son would take the gaokao this year, so I decided to take it together with him. When I told my family about my decision, they were all very supportive. My son prepared the materials for me. I also took classes in Hohhot for the exam,” Narina recalled, saying that she enjoyed the feeling of the old days when she was preparing for gaokao.

“Some might say, ‘You’re a herdswoman, why do you need to go to college?’ Well, I think herdsmen also need to enhance our strengths and keep up with the times. Becoming a college student has always been my dream. Even if I can’t find a suitable job after graduation, I think it’s still worth it because I will be a real college graduate,” she said joyfully.