Chinese mother who didn't attend school enrolls in nursery alongside daughter


A Chinese woman who missed out on a childhood education has reportedly signed up to go to school with her five-year-old daughter.

Shi Xiaoqin, a mother-of-two from Guizhou province in southern China, is believed to have joined a class of young new school students last month.

The 31-year-old said she was not worried what people thought of a fully grown woman going back to school, reports the South China Post.

“I don’t care what others think of me. Accompanying my daughter in class not only helps me to pick up new knowledge but also allows me to better teach my daughter,” she said.

“Once I know how to read and write, I can help my daughter learn at home, and when she grows up, she will have the chance to get a good job.”

Ms Shi, who said there were a number of reasons she did not attend school as a child, said she hoped relearning later in life would provide her with greater job options.

She lives with her family in Songtao Miao – an autonomous county in northeastern Guizhou province. She and her husband have been migrant workers in the provinces of Fujian, Hainan and Guangdong but not being able to read has always impeded her prospects.

According to the paper, she said her illiteracy had stopped her from procuring any form of work at all at times. Until recently she was said to have been unable to recognise even a single character.

Her teacher Chi Mingxia said the school was pleased she had applied and she was now making strong progress.

“Shi Xiaoqin studies hard. She has grasped a lot about Mandarin’s pinyin and recognises many characters.

“She has set a good example for the other children at our school,” the teacher, who is younger than her, was quoted as saying. 

She is able to play games with her classmates at break time but has the responsibilities of an adult. In contrast to her fellow pupils, her day ends with looking after her daughters, doing chores, and cooking food.

Ms Shi said her husband worked on construction sites far from home and the family were very poor. The couple are also believed to have a one-year-old daughter.

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