BEIJING- Two teens in eastern China committed suicide after “failing to complete homework assignments” state-run media said on Friday, in an extreme case highlighting the immense pressure schoolchildren can face.

In a highly competitive education system that emphasises rote learning and passing exams, Chinese students spend on average 8.6 hours a day in class and can expect several more hours of assignments afterwards.

A 15-year-old boy in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, who failed to finish homework from a three-day public holiday jumped to his death around 11:00 am on Thursday, the China Daily said.

A 13-year-old boy in the same town got up at 4:00 amThursday to complete holiday assignments but was found hanged on a staircase at his home two hours later, it said.

“In a suicide note, the boy said he loved his parents, felt sorry for them and hoped they could bring lilies, his favourite flower, to his grave,” it said.