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A student sample essay for US university application              优秀学生范文

  I was only nine when my family moved to Shenzhen to realize our dream of a better life. Living in a crowded flat I imagined attending a beautiful state school. However, when school finally started, I stood in front of a dilapidated three-story private school with tears in my eyes. This was the first time I had experienced the consequences of the Chinese Hukou system, a household registration system that divides China's population into two groups, City-Hukou and Countryside-Hukou. Only people with official Shenzhen City-Hukou could attend its state schools. As an outsider, I could not. Instead, I had to attend a second-rate private school.

  The disappointment overwhelmed my heart when I found an unconceivable discrepancy between the private schools and public schools in city. In addition to the difference in education facilities, the abilities of the teachers are also dissimilar. In my primary private school, most of my teachers had only graduated from high school, whereas in Shenzhen’s public schools most teachers are college graduates. I often wondered if I would have the opportunity to go to college.

  Now I discern that I was not alone. There are about eight million rural children who migrate to China’s cities like me and study at the nonstandard private schools because they don’t have a City-Hukou.  Many just play in the streets instead of going to school every day. More children from the countryside are blocked off from universities because most universities are located in cities and accept only about ten percent of several million rural students. Where do the rest go? They plough the fields, build bungalows and feed pigs – the things that go on in my hometown. Those scenes make me ponder – what is the traditional goal of education? I think it should narrow the gap between the rich and the poor and give society more equality. However, from what I saw, the Hukou system definitely reverses the supposed Chinese education goal. It enlarges the gap between rich and the poor and increases the possibility of interclass conflict.
  现在我发现像我这样的情况绝不止一例。中国现有约八百万农村儿童移居到城市后像我一样只能去不正规的私立学校学习,只因为他们没有城市户口。很多儿童甚至每天只能在大街上玩耍而没有书读。更多的农村学生被大学拒之门外,因为大学多设在城市里,中国几百万的农村儿童中只有百分之十有机会上大学。那么其余的人去了哪里?他们或是在田地里耕田,或是去建筑工地打工,或者去喂猪 — 我的家乡年复一年地重复着这样的故事。这些情景不禁让我陷入了深思 — 教育的本质目的到底是什么?我想它应该是为了减少人们的贫富差距让这个社会变得更公平。然而,我所看到的却是在户口体制的干涉下中国的教育现状与它的理论目标是背道而驰的。它加大了贫富差距,激化了阶层冲突。

  Under such an unfair Hukou system my parents have spent a lot of effort. Many other parents support their children to emigrate from the countryside to the cities or from undeveloped cities to more developed cities where famed universities are located. Other poor students without sufficient resources can only watch other young people migrate with envy. One of them is my cousin. Without City-Hukou my cousin had been back to our barren hometown surrounded by mountains to study, while my parents achieved the resources to change my Hukou fairly rapidly. When I visited him in our hometown I sadly realized that he had become very humble. He asked if I could do him a favor in the future.

  “We can give mutual help to each other,” I replied. “When you studied in Shenzhen you really did a good job!” He just shook his head hopelessly and said:
   “I don’t know how to walk out from these mountains.”
  Hearing this inconsolable answer I wanted to encourage him not to give up, but my mouth felt unable to say any positive words. The Hukou System makes the inequality a  profoundly sensitive issue in our young minds.

  If the education system was fair, many rural children would have the same opportunity to compete with others and could improve their parents’ disadvantaged lives. Sadly it is not.  I was astounded when I heard that a multitude of cowherd children without Hukou live in the poorest countryside and only know how to watch over their cows.  Their destiny is to foster the next generation to watch over cows again. Generation by generation, these people strive perpetually in the underclass.

  Although I have the City-Hukou to study at public schools I am still worried about the classmates I left behind who had no better option than a private school. Indeed, without access to a quality education, many had already stopped believing that they could go to college. I have experienced their insufferable feeling as an outsider being abandoned by this society. We have the responsibility and ability to bestow our care on them. This motivated me to establish Study Bush, a volunteer organization that encourages 120 excellent high school students to provide peer tutoring for children in substandard private schools. One and half years later we have taught over 300 children on weekends and holidays. However, there remain many children in cities all around China still limited to a low quality of education.

  Sometimes I feel my volunteer efforts with Study-Bush are just like small drops of water in a vast ocean, and no matter what I have done I can’t change the ocean. Albeit we can’t eliminate such an enormous number of poor in such a large population as China has, maybe we can change the rules about who lives along the coastline.  This can be done by removing the stumbling blocks from the countryside to the city to help the poor to embark on a better life. From my cousin’s viewpoint, from the cowherd children’s words, from my childhood memory, I have perceived feelings of hopelessness. If there is no change in the Hukou system, how can we, this young generation, give China a better and more hopeful future?  

                    A2-4 Phoebe 张翟梅

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