Overcoming the odds, poor boys triumph in university exams
August 16th, 2010
They come from poor families in farming villages, but they have a common characteristic – not much in their wallets, but a passion for learning.
Orphan scores high in two university exams
Cuong (second left) and his friends and teacher
People in a small village in Thanh Hoa province these days gather at Nguyen Trong Cuong’s house to share the joy with Cuong’s mother after hearing that Cuong has passed the entrance exam to two universities. However, Cuong is not at home to receive the good neighbours, because he has gone south to earn money to fund his university study.
Cuong has been well known for the last many years at Le Van Huu High School in Thanh Hoa province’s Thieu Hoa district as a poor but excellent student.
As Cuong entered the third grade, his father died after a lengthy illness. Because the family did not have money, Cuong’s brothers and sisters had to give up school. They left Thanh Hoa and settled in the south. Sometimes they sent several hundred thousand dong to Cuong and his mother for everyday needs. Then, however, they then got married and, needing to take care of their own families, couldn’t send money anymore.
Cuong’s mother suffers from the heart disease, so he has had to help her with field work. Though he never has much time to study, he has always been an excellent student. He won third prize at the provincial chemistry students’ competition. In his uni exams, Cuong got excellent scores: 25/30 for the Civil Engineering University and 24.5/30 for Thai BInh Medical University.
Cuong’s mother related that right after taking the exams, Cuong left the small village for the south. “I have to earn money, so that I can study at university,” he told the mother.
Cuong said he will enter the University of Civil Engineering. “I dreamed of becoming a doctor who could cure poor people like my mother. However, medical school is really expensive. If I study civil engineering I can accomplish a lot, too,” he said.
The buffalo boy came first at the university entrance exam
Tran Trong Bien and his teacher
The news that Tran Trong Bien got high scores in the university entrance exams has rippled across the Duc Tho District in Ha Tinh province.
Bien stood first in the entrance exam for the Hanoi Pharmaceutical University with a score of 29.5/30. He also easily won admission to the Hanoi Medical University with a score of 27/30.
Bien’s father recalls that when Bien was a first grader, he was a sickly boy. However, he was studious and he liked reading books. When Bien entered the sixth grade, an accident put the father in bed on his back for three years. Bien’s mother had to earn money to feed the family.
Bien well understood the situation of the family, therefore, he studied harder. At Nguyen Thi Minh Khai School, Bien was the teachers’ pride, because he was always an excellent student, especially in mathematics and physics. Everyday, local residents saw Bien tending buffaloes with a book in his hands. He studied day and night. Before the university entrance exams, Bien studied late until one or two a.m.
“Sometimes Bien told me ‘we are still poor, and to escape from poverty, I have no choice but to learn well,’” said Bien’s father. He added that Bien always dreams of becoming a doctor who could cure poor people.
A blind boy with a dream
Vu Van Tuan
The door of Hue Science University has opened widely to welcome Vu Van Tuan, though he cannot see. Surpassing hundreds of sighted students, Tuan passed its entrance exam handily.
Tuan is the second child of a poor family in Yen Dinh District in Thanh Hoa province. His father, mother and sister are also blind. Undaunted, Tuan decided that he needed to go to school.
Primary school was very difficult. Tuan did not have money to purchase books, and because he was blind, it was difficult for him to integrate into the class.
Tuan decided that he had to try hard to learn, to show people that he could study well like a normal student. Because his parents could not give him much money to fund his study, Tuan had to sell snacks to earn money. To surprise of many, the boy was always an excellent student.
Tuan’s great efforts have brought success: he has passed the exam to the Hue University. “My life is still ahead and the future is really bright,” the boy said after he learned that he had passed the exam.