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  • Southwestern Xinjiang student reaches for the stars with new language under her belt
    2017-05-12    source:Chinadaily    author:

    Tajinsa Abuduany poses for a photo during an interview with China Daily in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on May 11, 2017.  [Photo by Zhu Xingxin/chinadaily.com.cn]

    Tajinsa Abuduany did not speak a word of Mandarin before she moved to Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

    "I wanted to speak Mandarin, as I dreamt to talk to others from other areas eastern in our country," the 14-year-old said.

    However, thanks to the education available at the No 66 Middle School in Urumqi, Tajinsa has excelled at communicating in Uygur and also now Mandarin.

    The school, established by the local government in 2004, aims to provide better education for children in lower-income families residing in southwestern Xinjiang, such as Kashgar and Turpan.

    Now, 3,373 students,from across 13 ethnic groups around the region, benefit from attending the No 66 Middle School in Urumqi.

    "About 90 percent of students are from ethnic groups. They can be enrolled after an examination," Qu Mingcai, the headmaster of the school, said.

    He added students learn cultures both in Xinjiang and other places of China "because we hope to provide them with a wide horizon to see the world."

    "It helps a number of children from southwestern regions of Xinjiang to learn Mandarin, and encourages them to further study the national histories and other developments in this way," Qu said.

    Tajinsa said she worked hard to keep her grades up when she was in her hometown, as she was an only child in a single-parent family.

    "My mom gave me support to go to school, and believed the education could bring me a bright future, even though some of my relatives did not agree," she said.