Amy Qin

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At Huining No. 1 High School, the pressure is on to excel on college entrance exams. Gilles Sabrié for The New York Times

In the dusty hillsides of one of China’s poorest regions, Gong Wanping rises each day at 5:10 a.m. to fetch well water and cook her son’s breakfast. She washes his feet while he keeps his nose in English and chemistry books. She hits him if he peeks at her cellphone.

To Ms. Gong, 51, who dropped out of school, the future of her son, Li Qiucai, 17, is paramount. If Qiucai does well on the college entrance exam, if he gets a spot at a top university, if he can achieve his dream of becoming a tech executive — then everything will change.…  Seguir leyendo »