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Long trek to school in Yunnan Province

03-23-2012 14:06 BJT

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Last year, Yunnan province saw several tragic school bus accidents. In many remote places there, harsh geographic conditions make it hard for many students to get to school.

In the latest in our series of how CCTV is raising money to improve school transport in rural areas, CCTV reporter Hu Chao traveled to one remote village and spoke with the children there.

Since enrolling in the school last September, they walk an hour each way to class. They
have to first climb down the hill and then along the railway.

Yang Chaokai and Wang Shufen walk to school together every morning. They are students at the primary school in Reshui village. Both of them are seven years old. Their feet have long got used to a path like this.

Since enrolling in the school last September, they walk an hour each way to class. They have to first climb down the hill and then along the railway.

This is the famous railway that connects Vietnam and Yunnan province. And this is way that the two children, Yang Chaokai and Wang Shufen walk every day to get to school for about one hour.

When the school is finished, they have to get back home. It may seem like an exciting adventure in the deep and beautiful mountains. But can you imagine walking this way back and forth for about two hours every day? It’s much different.

After a steep and bumpy slope, they arrive at school.

Walking on the rocks is not as easy as it looks, especially when it takes as long as 40 minutes. The two kids are much swifter than us.

Their parents are all farmers. Both Yang Chaokai’s sister and Wang Shufen’s brother are studying at a middle school. Life isn’t easy for the two families. Most of their money is spent on tuition for the elder kids.

After a steep and bumpy slope, they arrive at school. The school only has 24 students in two classes, first grade and second. Yang Chaokai and Wang Shufen are in the first grade.

Yang Chaokai said, “It’s a bit tiring to get to school every day. I’m a little scared. I’m interested in math. She is interested in Chinese.”

The principal says the school will be closed in September. All students will be transferred to a boarding school in the town of Baihe. By then kids like Yang Chaokai and Wang Shufen won’t have a long trek to school.

Huang Yunqing, principal of Reshui Primary School, said, “It’s hard for me to part with the kids and this place since I’ve worked here for more than 20 years. This is good news. Since the boarding school enjoys better teaching quality, I’m happy for the kids.”

Reshui Primary School only has three teachers, including the principal, his wife and another elderly instructor who has worked there for more than 30 years.

Tang Haibin, head of Baihe Town Central School, said, “Boarding school in Baihe town is convenient and safe for students here. They can also enjoy the state’s subsidy. And the teachers are much younger and more experienced than those at schools in the village level.

In many remote mountainous areas in Yunnan province, extreme geographic conditions make it nearly impossible to build roads. As school buses have been strongly advocated in today’s China, more practical measures are needed to ensure the safety of students in special areas.


    Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CNTV.CN

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