As urbanization is speeding up, more and more people are moving from towns and villages to counties [the equivalent of suburbs]. The number of school-age students in the rural villages has been declining, forcing more and more schools in the rural areas to close. The remaining school age children in the villages therefore face extreme challenges to go to school.
Xinhua published a photo news report about the school children in Tongle Village, Weixi County, in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunan Province. They have to spend four hours each day climbing mountains and crossing rivers in order to go to school. The report said that they usually wear out at least two pair of shoes each month.
The report quoted a study published by the 21st Century Institute of Education which stated that, from 2000 to 2010, an average of 63 elementary schools, 30 teaching facilities, and three middle schools closed their doors every day. In that ten year time frame, the villages saw 229,400 of the elementary schools, or 52.1 percent, close down, while the number of teaching facilities declined by 111,000 or 60 percent.
Source: Xinhua, September 22, 2013