Wednesday 24 April 2013

The Dangerous Way to School

Children in Indonesia have been filmed risking their lives by crossing a collapsed suspension bridge to get to school.

Three bridges in the district of Lebak have given way recently due to flooding.

When the 162m-long bridge that connected Ciwaru village to Sibagi village broke, school children were left with few alternatives for getting to lessons on time.

Kids travel to school via a precarious, high-altitude zipline of 1,300ft, carrying their younger sibs in hemp sacks and slowing their descent with a wooden fork.

Muhammad Ikhwan, a 10-year-old student, said he felt forced to choose crossing the collapsed bridge rather than walking 5km. "It's far if we don't use the bridge. Yes, it's about 5km to walk," he said.

It's exam season in Guinea, ranked 160th out of 177 countries on the United Nations' development index, and schoolchildren flock to the airport every night because it's among the few places where they'll always find the lights on.

Groups of elementary and high school students begin heading to the airport at dusk, hoping to reserve a coveted spot under the oval light cast by one of a dozen lampposts in the parking lot. Some come from over an hour's walk away.

Transportation is challenging for people living in the mountains around the Rio Negro in Colombia. For more than two hundred years, the only way in or out of this area has been by zip line. Even school-age children ride it a half-mile every day to attend classes.

New Delhi's slum children have been attending classes under a metro bridge at this open-air, dirt-floor school since it opened three years ago.

In Boliva, for many children the rubbish dump is their school.

Children walk along a narrow mountain road to get to school in Bijie, southwest China's Guizhou Province. Banpo Elementary School is located halfway up a mountain and each day students from the nearby Genguan village have to climb a narrow winding footpath cut into the mountainside.

Teacher Li Guilin helps children climb one of five rickety wooden ladders to reach their school on a cliff 2,800m above sea level, in Gangluo County, Sichuan Province, China.

A woman carries a desk while a young girl carries a chair to school in Macheng, Hubei province, China, where primary school pupils have to bring their own desks and chairs.

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