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Pupils Refuse To Let Raging Torrent Wash Away Hopes Of Exam Success

Pupils Refuse To Let Raging Torrent Wash Away Hopes Of Exam Success

Schoolchildren in Britain moan if they have to go to school in the rain. But in China pupils are forced to wade through a raging river in order to get to classes on time.

Students in China would not dream of letting anything as minor as a flash-flood put them off attending school for the all-important education they need to succeed in modern China.

These pupils were snapped wading through the flood waters of the river in remote Jiumiaozhai village in South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

One boy, six-year-old Shi Kang said: "It was cold and I was a little bit afraid but it was OK in the end. I did it because I want to go to school. I cannot afford to miss anything."

His mother Chan Lo said: "It has rained for over a month here and the roadway to the school was washed away long ago. It is around 100 metres across and 22 primary school children, like my son, have to make the journey twice a day to get to classes.

"If they didn't make this crossing here they would have to walk for three miles and then still get wet. Here they can walk on the top of an old dam. It is quite slippery but they have got the hang of it.

"They all look out for one another and are very cautious. No-one has yet been swept away. We instil the need for safety in all of them."

Local water authority official Chang Shen said: "There is not enough money to build a bridge yet but we hope to in the near future. It is not ideal for children to have to go through this twice a day but there is no alternative at present.

"At the moment they can walk across the dam top but sometimes it gets so flooded that only a raft is operable. Still, from what I have heard of western children, our ones are a lot tougher and willing to put up with much more to get to classes on time."

China is included in international education tests held every three years by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, measure pupils' skills in reading, numeracy and science.

These Pisa tests - the Programme for International Student Assessment - have become the leading international benchmark and show China has an education system that is overtaking most Western countries.

The Pisa 2009 tests even showed that Shanghai was top of the international education rankings.

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