Rooftop study helps boy scale heights of success

Updated: Sep 22, 2020 Print
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Quan Jietong achieved a high score in this year's gaokao. He gained 666 points, 122 higher than the local admission requirement for first-tier universities.

As a result, the student from a poor family has won a place at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in Chengdu, capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan.

What makes Quan's story really remarkable is that he had to sit on a freezing rooftop to study for the exam.

The teenager became a celebrity in February after a photo circulated online showing him studying in the cold wind on the roof of his building, which was the only place he could access free internet by linking to a neighbor's Wi-Fi signal.

At the time, he was a student at the No 2 High School of Xichuan county, Nanyang, in the central province of Henan, preparing for the national college entrance exam.

As the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread across the country earlier this year, the school postponed on-campus classes and all students began to study online.

Quan's family was too poor to own a computer or pay for cable broadband, so he had to use his father's mobile phone to study courses online.

However, his parents could not afford the data fees, so Quan asked a neighbor for free access to his Wi-Fi.

He regularly took a small bench up to the rooftop at 5:30 am because the signal was much better in the early morning.

He said he had to study hard because he was worried about the upcoming examination after teachers were unable to give students lessons and instruction in the classroom due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Quan's goal was to be admitted to Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province.

His story attracted the attention of netizens, who praised him for his commitment in tackling the hardship.

Zhejiang University encouraged him to work hard and told him, "You will succeed."

Other universities, including the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, encouraged him and expressed interest in enrolling him.

After learning about Quan's predicament, Yao Yinxiu, head of the high school, said on Feb 8 that he was proud to have such a dedicated student. To acknowledge his dedication, the school bought Quan a computer.

Local authorities arranged for a network company to install cable broadband free of charge and telecom carriers offered free internet connections.

Though he was disappointed not to be admitted to Zhejiang University, Quan said he was satisfied with the outcome as engineering experiment at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China is a good course choice.


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