Making the journey to school is something that the vast majority of children in western countries take for granted. They will either be transported to the school, perhaps by their parents or a specially designated bus, or even walk the short distance from their home. That isn’t the case all around the world though. For some children, school is considered a luxury that they have to face arduous challenges to get to, travelling over vast distances over incredibly tough terrain.
When the school is located on the other side of a wide river that doesn’t have any bridges or roads going across it, the only way to reach it is to travel by boat. That is the case for students in Kerala, India who have to pack onto small boats as they make the hour long trip to school every single day.
Rushing down a zip line to get to school every day might seem like a brilliant adventure, but these children have to travel hundreds of feet on the steel cable without any real safety equipment or adult supervision. The school trip sees the students crossing the Rio Negro in Colombia while in their school uniforms and carrying their equipment.
Filipino youngsters trying to reach an elementary school in the Rizal Province have to cross a large river in order to reach the other side. As there is no bridge or boats to take them across, they have to use inflatable tire tubes to navigate the fast flowing waters. To make matters worse, the journey also includes an hour long walk over rough terrain.
It’s just as difficult to reach the Indonesian school in the center of Cilangkap Village, with children wishing to get to the school having to get down a long and winding river. Those who live far enough away from the facility have to utilize a makeshift bamboo raft that is only wide enough to have people standing on it in single file.
The children trying to get to a remote school in Gulu, China have to spend up to five hours traversing over a treacherous mountain path. The vast majority of the journey takes place on a footpath carved into the side of the mountains that is just one foot wide.
Sichuan Province, China
Parents face the perilous task of taking their children across a bridge that was severely damaged in an earthquake to get them to school every day. To make the situation even more dangerous, the winter months routinely see the bridge completely covered in snow, making it very easy to slip and fall.
Although India generally has a more sophisticated school system than many of its neighbors and other entries on this list, children still face a fairly perilous trip to get to their place of learning. In this instance, pupils in Delhi are forced to crowd onto a single horse-drawn cart for several miles, taking care not to fall off or get crushed.
Getting to school for a collection of female students in Sri Lanka involves walking on the walls of the giant Galle Fort. Unfortunately, much of the wall has been destroyed or damaged over the years, leaving large gaps. This has led to teachers placing small wooden planks so that the girls can get across the spaces without having to jump and risk falling.
Travelling to a school in Padang, Indonesia involves crossing over a large ravine on a tightrope that is more than 30 feet long. The pupils hold tightly onto the ropes while wearing their school uniforms, facing the possibility of falling hundreds of feet.
Zhang Jiawan Village
Anyone trying to get to a school in Zhang Jiawan Village, in Southern China, has an arduous task of reaching it as it sits on top of a large cliff face. This means that they have to climb up specially made wooden ladders, while taking care not to fall.