April 18, 2017

13 unusual and dangerous journeys to school

Kerry Mullen

Online Picture Editor, Theirworld

School can be a hard-won luxury in some parts of the world. Many children have to make the most unimaginable and dangerous journeys every day to access education.

For some children there is no easy stroll to a school bus stop - or an air-conditioned ride in a parent's car.

Some walk along treacherous cliff edges. Others trek into the mountains for miles or cross broken bridges to be at school on time. 

The solution seems simple: build roads and run buses. But for children living in rural or poverty-ridden areas there is no quick solution and often it is easier to quit school.

Every child has the right to a good education and the chance to reach their full potential. It helps to reduce poverty and inequality and keeps them safe.

But more than 260 million children and adolescents around the world are out of school because education is not accessible for everyone.

We look at some of the dangerous journeys children make to get to school. 

1. Zanskar, Himalayas

You have to be good at hiking to make this journey to school. But since it’s a boarding school children only need to make the exhausting trip every so often.

2. Zhang Jiawan Village, Southern China

Children climb unsecured wooden ladders to make it to school in this rural region of China. 

3. Gulu, China

The only way to Zulu Elementary school is along a cliff edge. The narrow 1ft path runs for miles and takes children five hours to complete the journey.

4. Lebak, Indonesia

Even parents need to climb along a damaged suspension bridge to make sure their children make it to school on time.

5. Pangururan, Indonesia

Imagine being crammed inside this tiny boat. Even the roof is used for the daily commute to school. 

6. Rio Negro River, Colombia

Students fly through the air on a steel cable 400 metres above The Rio Negro River. This school journey is not for those afraid of heights.

7. Sumatra, Indonesia

On their way to and from school, children must walk across a tightrope 30ft above a swollen river in Padang. Good balance is essential for getting to class. 

8. Dujiangyan, China

Snow, wind and a very slippery bridge isn’t enough to stop children attending school. Children and their families have learned to overcome adverse weather conditions.

9. Sri Lanka

Schoolgirls walk across a narrow plank on the wall of the 16th century Gallery Fort in the heart of Sri Lanka. At least they have each other for support.

10. Delhi, India

Some children catch the bus and others hitch a lift from a horse. You can never complain about overcrowding on the bus to work again.

11. Myanmar

When a bus isn’t an option, there’s always a bull. Livestock serve many purposes including taking children to school. 

12. Cilangkap Village, Indonesia

Bamboo shafts were made into a temporary bridge to allow students to cross the Ciherang River. Waterproof shoes are essential. 

13. Rizal Province, Philippines

Elementary school children show their bravery by crossing a swollen river with inflated tyres. 

  • Act
  • Related News