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Chinese children endure 'world's most dangerous school run' - Telegraph - 0 views

  • 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.
  • "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.
  • 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.
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  • "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."
  • 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.
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