It’s not easy for some parents to let their children go to school on their own for the first time. But, in some places the issue has less to do with attachment than  and more to do with safety: in many parts of the world, schools are not as easy to reach as you may think.

Maybe you’ll be amazed to see that many children risk their lives in order to get education, but education can be a “hard-won luxury” for children living in Mountains in China or Himalayas in India!

UNESCO reported:

The progress in connecting children to schools has slowed down over the past five years… Risky routes are one of the main reasons why many kids chose to quit school.


1. Schoolchildren Crossing a Damaged Suspension Bridge, Lebak, Indonesia

About 20 strong-willed pupils from Batu Busuk village on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, have to move from one side of the local river to the other like acrobats, since the suspension bridge collapsed in heavy rain more than two years ago (in January 2012).

1_Suspension Bridge, Lebak, Indonesia

2_Suspension Bridge, Lebak, Indonesia

Images credits: Reuters

2. Crossing Dangerous River, Sanghiang Tanjung, Indonesia

Sanghiang Tanjung is another Indonesian village where kids have to cross a broken suspension bridge from one of the sides of Ciberang River to the other.

3_Sanghiang Tanjung, Indonesia

4_Sanghiang Tanjung, Indonesia

The good news is: after media reported the story, Indonesia’s largest steel producer, PT Krakatau Steel, built a new bridge, in order to help the children could cross the river securely.

4_Sanghiang Tanjung, Indonesia

6_Sanghiang Tanjung, Indonesia

Images credits: Reuters

3. Pupils Canoeing to School, Riau, Indonesia

10_Pupils Canoeing To School, Riau, Indonesia

Image credits: Nico Fredia

4. Children Traveling On the Roof of a Wooden Boat in Pangururan, Indonesia

11_Pangururan, Indonesia

Image credits: Muhammad Buchari

5. Aqueduct Uses as a Road, Indonesia

7_Aqueduct Uses as a Road, Indonesia

This aqueduct divides Suro Village and Plempungan Village in Java, Indonesia. Children here also have to take a long journey to reach the school. The aqueduct is used as a road because it’s a faster route. Even though it is dangerous, the children say  theywould rather use it than walk a distance of over six kilometers.

8_Aqueduct Uses as a Road, Indonesia

9_Aqueduct Uses as a Road, Indonesia

Image credits: Daily Mail, LA Times

6. Students Crossing Ciherang River on a Makeshift Bamboo Raft, Cilangkap Village, Indonesia

12_Cilangkap Village, Indonesia

Image credits: Reuters/Beawiharta Beawiharta


7. 5-Hour Journey Into the Mountains On a 1ft Wide Path to Probably The Most Remote School In The World, Gulu, China

13_Gulu, China

14_Gulu, China

16_Gulu, China

15_Gulu, China

Image credits: Sipa Press

8. Crossing a Broken Bridge in the Snow to Get To School in Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province, China

17_Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province, China

Image credits: Imaginechina / Rex Features

9. Schoolchildren Climbing On Unsecured Wooden Ladders, Zhang Jiawan Village, Southern China

18_Zhang Jiawan Village, Southern China

19_Zhang Jiawan Village, Southern China

Image credits: Imaginachina/Rex Features

10. 125-Mile Journey to a Boarding School through the Mountains, Pili, China

20_The Mountains, Pili, China

21_The Mountains, Pili, China

22_The Mountains, Pili, China

23_The Mountains, Pili, China

Image credits: unknown


11. Kids Traveling Through the Forest Across a Tree Root Bridge, India

24_Tree Root Bridge, India

Source: The Atlantic

12. Riding a Tuktuk (Auto Rickshaw) to School in Beldanga, India

25_School In Beldanga, India

Image credits: Dilwar Mandal

13. Kids Traveling to a Boarding School through the Himalayas, Zanskar, Indian Himalayas

26_Himalayas, Zanskar, Indian Himalayas

Image credits: Timothy Allen

14. Schoolchildren Traveling By Boat in Kerala, India

27_Kerala, India

Image credits: Santosh Sugumar

15. Pupils Riding a Horse Cart Back From School in Delhi, India

28_School In Delhi, India

Image credits: Daily Mail

Other Countries

16. Elementary School Students Crossing a River on Inflated Tire Tubes, Rizal Province, Philippines

29_Rizal Province, Philippines

Image credits: Bullit Marquez /AP

Many elementary school students in Rizal province, east of Manila, the capital of the Philippines, use an inflated tire tube to cross a river on their way to school. It takes over an hour each day to get to and from school.

30_Rizal Province, Philippines

Image credits: Dennis M. Sabangan / EPA

31_Rizal Province, Philippines

32_Rizal Province, Philippines

17. School Girls Walking Across a Plank on the Wall of the 16th Century Galle Fort in Sri Lanka

33_Century Galle Fort In Sri Lanka

Image credits: Reuters/Vivek Prakash

18. A Girl Riding a Bull to School, Myanmar

34_Bull To School, Myanmar

Image credits: Andrey

19. Kids Flying 800m On A Steel Cable 400m Above The Rio Negro River, Colombia

35_The Rio Negro River, Colombia

Some kids in Columbia live essentially in the rainforest. 40 miles southeast of the capital, Bogota, areas are connected to each other via steel cables. This way is the only available way to school, where kids have to travel using steel cables. The steel cables are 800 meters in length are strung 400m above the roaring Rio Negro.

36_The Rio Negro River, Colombia

Image credits: Christoph Otto

20. A Palestinian Girl Walking Towards her School Unconcerned by Israeli Forces

37_Palestinian Girl Walking Towards her School Unconcerned Israeli Forces

Image credits

This meaningful photo was taken by photographer Ammar Awad in 2010. Its shows a Palestinian girl quietly walking towards her school with Israeli military personelle standing only meters away.

Education is a civil right; a basic human right. It is an investment in the future skills and capabilities of the coming generations. In countries where the way to school is not dangerous, difficult, or far: a little appreciation may be in order.