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Chinese children endure 'world's most dangerous school run'

Posted by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 8:09 AM
  • 8 Replies

Tired of your kids kvetching over their daily walk to school or to the bus stop?

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Chinese children endure 'world's most dangerous school run'

Four times a year, 80 children from a remote village in the Pamir mountains set off on a school run that would make most parents blanch, scaling 1000ft-high cliffs and fording swollen rivers to get to class.

The children, aged between six and 17 years-old, live in Pili, a village of some 400 herders and farmers high up in the foothills that separateChina from Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

But their school lies some 120 miles away, 50 miles of which are inaccessible to vehicles and have to be crossed on foot, or by camel.

"There is only one way to get to the village, and you have to climb up in the mountains," said Su Qin, the head teacher at Taxkorgan Town boarding school, where the children study. "The village is completely cut off. The roads only take you further away," she added.

So, four times a year, before and after the summer and winter terms, a group of teachers sets off to escort the children on the journey. It takes at least two days and one night of trekking, and the children sometimes arrive at the school as much as a week after the beginning of term.

The most dangerous part of the route is a path, which narrows to just a few inches wide, that has been cut into a cliff face some 1,000ft above the valley beneath. Without safety harnesses, the teachers gingerly shepherd their charges along.

"Actually the parents think it toughens the kids up, and gives them good experience," said Ms Su. "However, some of the parents are reluctant to let their children go to school. They are so cut off from the world they do not appreciate the importance that having knowledge will play in their children's lives." She said there had not been any accidents during the trips, which have run for the past two years, since the modern, three-floor school was built. "We make sure that it is always a responsible group of teachers and local officials that go, and they take good care of the children," she said.

"It is actually safer in winter because they can walk on the frozen river. They do not need to climb up the mountains and detour," she added. "Sometimes they can ride on the camels too." Ms Su said she had two boys from Pili in her music class at the school, and that both of them quite enjoyed the adventure of the trip.

"One of the boys is eleven and very talented at music, although less talented academically. He is definitely a leader. Even though he is the smallest kid in the class, he has the most authority. Both the boys are quite confident, in fact."

Guo Yukun, the local Communist party secretary, told China Central Television (CCTV) that a road is now under construction to the village. However, because of the difficulty of the terrain, it is not expected to be finished until late 2013.

"Our main task is to get these 80 primary and middle schoolchildren out of Pili village [and bring them to the school] safely. Our national policy is to make sure children have a free education. So the teachers take good care of them," he said.

Another official, named Sa'dan, admitted, however, that there are usually some jitters before the trips. "If anything happens to the children on the way, how could we face their parents?" he said.

 Sexy If its unladylike, fattening or fun, I'm in!
  

by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 8:09 AM
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Replies (1-8):
VooDooB
by Platinum Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 8:25 AM

Guo Yukun, the local Communist party secretary, told China Central Television (CCTV) that a road is now under construction to the village. However, because of the difficulty of the terrain, it is not expected to be finished until late 2013.

So I'm assuming this is a non-issue now? ;)

Carpy
by Ruby Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 8:34 AM
1 mom liked this

Damn, that is crazy.  Why not build them a school in their village?

heather77g
by Bronze Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Wow that's crazy!  

RaniNY
by Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 6:47 PM

I think because it is unlikely that they would attract a teacher. Teachers in China bid on available jobs according to the ranking of their school and their class ranking. Who would bid for that job? And whose parents would urge them to take it? What if you had a medical emergency? Needed supplies? Also, parents want their children to get married, so who are they going to marry? One of those uneducated villagers? Maybe in America, but I don't see it happening in China. It would be seen as marrying down. Parents have veto power over their children's marriages. China is a country with no social security, so most couples have only one child who will support them in their old age. If their children are not living nearby, it had better be because they're raking in some cash. They need to educate some of those children to the point where they will go back to the village and be the teacher. OR, maybe the government could offer some kind of incentive, like a higher salary, but in China, everyone wants to move to a big city after college, just like here.

Quoting Carpy:

Damn, that is crazy.  Why not build them a school in their village?


LiveinJoy
by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 6:49 PM

WOW! Americans are such pansies! lol

Sisteract
by Whoopie on Jan. 16, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Why not build a school in the village and have the teachers move?

Sisteract
by Whoopie on Jan. 16, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Exactly!

Quoting Carpy:

Damn, that is crazy.  Why not build them a school in their village?


autodidact
by Platinum Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 7:00 PM
2 moms liked this

mountain goats would look at that shit and go "nahhhhwwww"

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