China / Society

Chinese colleges admit visually impaired students

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-08-03 19:51

HANGZHOU - Two Chinese colleges have admitted two visually impaired students who recently passed China's college admission exam or "gaokao".

Zheng Rongquan, a 20-year-old visually impaired student, was admitted by the education department of Wenzhou University, east China's Zhejiang province, on Sunday.

Zheng achieved a score of 570, which is well above average in Zhejiang, even for candidates that do not have a physical disability. However, he had been rejected by many schools due to lack of facilities or concerns about his academic performance.

"I feel very excited that I can go to college," said Zheng, who emphasized that he doesn't need the school to provide special care except for braille or electronic textbooks.

In addition to Zheng, Huang Ying, a blind student from Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, was admitted by the social work department of Wuhan University of Technology in central China's Hubei province in late July.

Last year, the Ministry of Education stipulated that visually impaired people should be given access to braille or electronic exam papers, as well as support staff, so that they can sit the gaokao. Eight provinces and regions reported that visually impaired candidates had sat the gaokao in 2015 without giving the exact number.

There are at least 12 million visually impaired people in China. It is widely believed that they are not able to study at mainstream institutions.

An admission officer from Wenzhou University said Zheng is the first visually impaired student the school has enrolled since it was established four decades ago. But the university will try its best to offer help.

China's education reform has given more people the opportunity to sit the gaokao, but more must be done to ensure educational equality, Zheng Rongquan said.

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