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10 Dangerous Journeys to School Around the World

10 Dangerous Journeys to School Around the World

Many of us have heard the stories of how our parents or grandparents had to walk miles in the snow to get to school. Perhaps some of these tales were a tad embellished, but we got the point. A lot of American kids have the luxury of being driven in a warm car or bus to a good school nearby. This is not the case for the children in this gallery.

The photos you are about to see are snapshots of the treacherous trips kids around the world take each day to get an education. Considering there are currently 61 million children worldwide who are not receiving an education—the majority of which are girls—these walks are seen as being well worth the risk.

In the above photo, students in Indonesia hold tight while crossing a collapsed bridge to get to school in Banten village on January 19, 2012. Flooding from the Ciberang river broke a pillar supporting the suspension bridge, which was built in 2001.

Click through the gallery for more photos of the harrowing trips children take to school.

(Photo: Beawiharta/Reuters)

Students wearing rubber boots use chairs as a makeshift bridge to get to a classroom at their elementary school in the Taytay, Rizal province, north of Manila in the Philippines, on July 18, 2007. Teachers claim that the school grounds, built on a former garbage dump site, have no drainage and are constantly inundated with water.

In the Philippines, according to UNICEF, only 62 percent of children attended high school during the 2007-2008 school year. This is a significant drop from the 85 percent of kids who attended primary school that year. Approximately 11.64 million youth are out of school in the country.

(Photo: Romea Ranoco/Reuters)

In Sri Lanka, a group of schoolgirls walk across a plank between the walls of the 16th-century Galle fort on July 8, 2009.

There is a lack of quality infrastructure and unequal access to education in Sri Lanka, according to the literacy organization Room to Read. This was made worse by civil conflict and the 2004 tsunami. In areas of the island nation, such as the central highlands, it’s common for girls to work long hours for low wages instead of getting a proper education. This results in a serious literacy gap.

In the world today there are 163 million illiterate youth, and more than half—63 percent—are female.

(Photo: Vivek Prakash/Reuters)

Kids walk in a straight line on an extremely steep cliff to get to Banpo Primary School in China, on March 12, 2013. The school is in Shengji county, Bijie city, in Guizhou province.

Leading the kids is Xu Liangfan, the 37-year-old headmaster who also teaches mathematics and gym class. Located halfway up a mountain, the school has 68 students, of which about 20 live in the nearby Gengguan village. The narrow path the students are walking along was carved from cliffs over 40 years ago. It is the only route between Gengguan village and the school, according to local media.

China’s strong education system, according to The Competition that Really Matters, (a report released by the Center for American Progress), will make the country “increasingly competitive in sophisticated industries.” However, the country’s system is not without flaws.

The report states: “China faces massive challenges, including rising inequality and inferior educational quality and access to schools in rural and migrant populations.”

(Photo: Stringer/Reuters)

In Kosovo, a student crosses the frozen Batllava Lake on his way to school on February 21, 2012. After two weeks of bad weather, students in the village of Orllan are finally able to go to school. If they want to get there, however, they have to cross this frozen lake.

According to UNICEF, seeking an education in Kosovo has safety issues, especially for girls. Schools are often located far from their homes, which means students have to walk for miles to get to school. As you can see, this is not the most pleasant experience when temperatures are far below zero.

(Photo: Hazir Reka/Reuters)

After their school was flooded, primary school boys in India carry their school benches to a drier spot on August 10, 2011. The school is located in Bassi Kalan village in the outskirts of Jammu.

India has the largest illiterate population in the world. Nearly 40 percent of the country’s population cannot read or write, according to UNICEF.

(Photo: Mukesh Gupta/Reuters)

Outside of Toronto, two students, dwarfed by power towers, fight against a powerful winter storm to get to school. This was the first severe winter storm of the season in the year 2000. The storm, which blew its way up through the Midwest of the United States and into eastern Canada, dumped up to 50 centimeters of snow. The temperatures, as you can imagine, were bitterly cold.

Outside of Toronto, two students, dwarfed by power towers, fight against a powerful winter storm to get to school. This was the first severe winter storm of the season in the year 2000. The storm, which blew its way up through the Midwest of the United States and into eastern Canada, dumped up to 50 centimeters of snow. The temperatures, as you can imagine, were bitterly cold.

(Photo: Reuters)

Northeast of Cairo, Egypt, a group of students hitch a ride on the back of a truck to get home from school. Their school is located in Ibsheway el-Malaq village in Gharbia governorate, about 103 miles northeast of Cairo on March 12, 2012.

According to UNICEF, the percentage of children between the ages of 6 to 18 who’ve never enrolled or who have dropped out of basic education is 8.1 percent. That’s around 2.8 million children.

(Photo: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters)

Kashmiri children cross a damaged footbridge built over a stream in India. The kids are on their way back home from their school in Srinagar on May 11, 2012.

In India, the number of out-of-school children has declined from 25 million in 2003 to 8.1 million in mid-2009, according to UNICEF.

(Photo: Danish Ismai/Reuters)

An Afghan schoolboy cycles past a U.S. soldier in the village of Ahmadak, Baraki Barak district, Logar province, on October 12, 2009.

The adult literacy rate in Afghanistan is only 39 percent, according to UNICEF.

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