Photographs have emerged depicting Chinese children with the youngest being aged six and oldest at fifteen climbing up and down steeply, unsafe mountains of 2,624 feet high to attend a school which is situated at the foot of the mountain.
The students who live in Atule’er village make the extremely dangerous back and forth trip which takes about two hours just to earn an education at the Le’er Primary School.
A Chinese official stated that eight lives have already been lost during the commute.
Parents take turns to drop them off at the mountain foot and pick them up after two weeks to climb back up the mountain as their village is so remote only 72 families live there.
They make a living by growing chillies as the land is fertile and the villagers are self sufficient.
The children who live in what is called a ‘cliff village’ at the top of mountain have no choice but to embark on the perilous journey because their village is cut-off from the outside world and that’s the only way to get an education.
It takes an hour to climb down the mountain and an-hour-and-half for parents who are familiar with the journey to drop off and pick the students, although the young pupils need around two hours to scale the cliffs with the help of dangerous ladders.
According to A Pi Ji Ti, the Secretary of Communist Party of Zhi’ermo Township, some children from the cliff village don’t gain an education even after reaching school age as the journey grows more difficult when the village encounters rain and snowy weather.
Zhaojue County office secretary Ji Ke Jin Song says: ‘The main problems is that we can easily move the villagers to a nearby city but without their farm land they have no job.
‘They have good land resources and have a high yield of crops. Building a road to the village would cost 60 million yuan (£6.2 million) which is not cost effective because the number of people is so low.’
Jin Song added that the Chinese government had already invested one million yuan (£105,000 ie N30,749,007) in sheep for the villagers – which is over two-hundred-years old.