Poor student granted admission to top Hong Kong school

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The Baptist Rainbow School in Wong Tai Sin. Photo: Facebook

A student from a poor background who moved to Hong Kong two years ago has been granted admission to a top secondary school in Tai Po in New Territories.

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Tsang Ying-lee Photo: Baptist Rainbow School

Tsang Ying-lee, a primary-six pupil, has lived with her mother in a 140-square-feet squatter house in a rural area in Tai Po since she came to Hong Kong from mainland China two years ago, Apple Daily reported. With a limited power supply and no television or internet, the family collects firewood from the woods to use for cooking.

To get an education, Tsang had to travel to the Baptist Rainbow School in Wong Tai Sin in Kowloon, a more than one-hour one-way journey.

When Tsang arrived from the mainland two years ago, she could not write traditional Chinese or speak Cantonese, Wen Wei Po reported. With the encouragement of her teachers and peers and her own determination, she practised whenever she could.

She also borrowed English books from her teacher. On Tuesday, her hard work paid off when she was offered a place at the highly-respected, band-one Carmel Pak U Secondary School in Tai Po, which teaches primarily in English. Her mother was delighted as Tsang’s commute has been shortened.

Tsang said she hopes to be an illustrator in the future and give her mother a better life.

The Baptist Rainbow School was once on the brink of shutting down. This year, 94% of the school’s sixth graders secured places at secondary schools, higher than the Hong Kong average. Principal Chu Tsz-wing said he was touched by Tsang’s story and her academic improvement in the past two years. “This showed that education can really change lives,” Chu said.

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