Among the smiling faces and tears of anguish yesterday were two students who had beaten the system. Syed Shakeel Ahmed, 20, and Faisal Mahmood, 25, were among eight non-Chinese-speaking students who received their A-level results at English-language Delia Memorial School, Broadway, in Mei Foo. There is no official breakdown of exam results by students' ethnic background, but informal studies by rights groups and school principals suggest pass rates are very low among ethnic minorities. Faisal and Shakeel of Pakistan - whose first language is Urdu - scored enough marks in their A levels to qualify for university - Shakeel with an A, three Cs and a D, and Faisal also gaining an A. Shakeel suggested that the government introduce more languages as a second language. Most ethnic minority students fail to gain enough points in the HKCEE to continue to Form Six. 'I would feel better if other languages were introduced by the government as a second language. 'The number of minorities is growing slowly. The government should take care of their needs,' Shakeel said. He said some schools rejected students who had not taken Chinese. Those students had to take substitute courses, though they could decide which one. 'As I don't study Chinese and Putonghua, I had to take French, which is not my mother tongue,' Shakeel said. In the A-level exam, he had to take literature as a substitute for AS-level Chinese. Shakeel said he achieved an A in English, a C in A-level biology, chemistry and AS-level psychology, a D in AS-level physics and an E in literature. Shakeel has lived in Hong Kong for six years. He said he would learn spoken Chinese but not written Chinese. He wants to study science at the University of Hong Kong. Faisal, who also took the A-level examination, said there was a language problem for ethic minorities. 'It is unfair for schools not to consider students who have not taken Chinese. There are still some other languages. Students will only have a good chance of getting into universities if they achieve good results,' he said.