Is The Taxkorgan Town School Run The World’s Most Dangerous?
THE school run for children living in the Pamir mountains is tricky. The Taxkorgan Town boarding school 120 miles form their home in Pili, a village on the border with China,Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The students, between six and 17 years-old, live in Pili, are faced with mountains,a 600ft-long zip-line, a path cut into a steep slope 1,000 feet above the valley floor, rivers and rocks.
Says Su Qin, the head teacher:
“There is only one way to get to the village, and you have to climb up in the mountains. The village is completely cut off. The roads only take you further away.”
The teachers make the journey with the pupils. Four times a year, before and after the summer and winter terms, the group make the two day trip.
“Actually the parents think it toughens the kids up, and gives them good experience. However, some of the parents are reluctant to let their children go to school. They are so cut off from the world they do not appreciate the importance that having knowledge will play in their children’s lives. It is actually safer in winter because they can walk on the frozen river. They do not need to climb up the mountains and detour. Sometimes they can ride on the camels too.”
It sounds just great. The fresh air. The spectre of death and serious injury. The absentee parents. Call it Taxkorgan Town College, make the kids wear straw boaters and tails, and you can charge British parents £20,000 a term.