Tashkorgan – the difficult journey to schools

In isolated villages in the mountainous regions of China, childrens are increasingly being send to study in government boarding schools . However, in the Tashkorgan Tajik Autonomous region that is located in south east of Xinjiang province, sending children to such schools is a very challenging endeavour due to the extremely rugged terrains. The documentary is a story of such an incredible journey.

The Ma’eryang (马尔洋) township government provided helping hands and camels to transport the 89 students and their guardians, along a hazardous 70km walk from their village (Pilicun  皮力村) to a location accesible by motor vehicles. It was a 2 days journey where they endured  the hike through narrow trails along river precipes and crossing  the icy cold Yarkhant (叶尔羌河) rivers several times. Next, the four wheel drive vehicle rides took another 8 hours to travel 130km  before reaching the schools.

The government provides free education, lodging and food for these students. Most of the kids speak good Mandarin well. These kids would return home twice a year. I think these kids can have good future, and that’s why the parents and everyone there are willing to spend so much efforts in getting them to schools. Education is the most effective method against poverty eradication. Perhaps the parents will move nearer the larger townships in the future, as the isolated village seems very remote,  highly inaccesible and the harsh conditions seem to keep them in poverty forever.


About kchew

an occasional culturalist
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