Chinese rural schoolchildren brave cold snap’s icy weather; netizens’ comments

January 12, 2011Jing Gao6 Comments, , , , , , , , ,

From NetEase and QQ

Hit by icy rain and freezing temperatures, regions in China’s southwest, such as Hunan, Guangxi and Guizhou Provinces, have declared a state of emergency. Schools in the worst-hit areas have suspended classes, closed, postponed final exams, or begun the winter vacation earlier than usual. However, because roads leading to schools in several mountainous villages in Quanzhou County of Guangxi Province are deemed passable, schoolchildren insist on going to school. With parents and teachers’ company, elementary school students hit the mountain road in the cold weather and walk to the schools. Some students cover a total distance of 30 kilometers (18 miles) on foot each day. Kids brave the elements and endure hardships in their pursuit of knowledge.


In Guizhou Province and Chongqing, schoolchildren have to take homemade portable stoves to stay warm in classrooms with no heating supply. Most stoves were made from paint pails, waste basins and kitchen utensils and filled with charcoals. In class, they place the stoves besides them or right under their seats. After class, they carry the stoves home.


At noon, children sit together around stoves and eat lunch.


Children hold handmade stoves in their hands while walking on the icy mountain road.


In Wulong County, Chongqing, third graders Shu Min (left) and Dou Qiuju walk on their way to school.

Many netizens reminisce about their childhood when resources were scanty and living conditions were as poor. They criticize the regime for not doing enough to ensure rural kids a good living environment and making them go through the same suffering despite the country’s economic leap.

Selected comments from QQ:

腾讯网友 ★★绿忆★★:

(I) wonder where that much investment in education each year has gone? Look at the classroom of the little kids.

腾讯深圳市网友 至尊宝:

Poor kids. If you want to regret, go ahead regrettiing having been born in a country like China. So work hard for going abroad in the future. Loving this country and staying for it is not worthwhile any more.

腾讯网友 莽夫4Kings:

I was like this when I was little. The kids have suffered and are miserable.

腾讯网友 .o法拉利﹏、:

Decades have passed. Why the classrooms are still that shitty? Isn’t China progressing? One meal of officials can cost tens of thousands of yuan. Why just can’t they take out some money and build a nicer school and a nicer road? And they chant the slogan “However painful life is, we can’t let children feel the pain; how poor we are, we can’t have a poor education.” Pure f**king bullshit.

腾讯拉萨市网友 蝴蝶戒:

Buildings in the cities are so high. How can classrooms in the villages be so shitty?

腾讯广东省网友 原来的我:

China’s money should be invested in poverty-stricken regions and used for building roads and funding education to shore up the economy. This way the gap between the rich and the poor can be effectively prevented from going wider. (China) should not channel the money abroad, let along buying billions of dollars of the U.S. treasury bonds.

腾讯网友 亚尔:

On the road to school the world is icy and snowy;
The bumpy path in the mountains was covered with frost.
You ask us why we still go to class?
For shaking off poverty, achieving prosperity, we need good education.

腾讯网友 心语:

Can that thing be still called “road”? Kids must have been frozen.

腾讯上海市网友 倾城:

Did they replace all the desks and chairs with new ones just for a better picture(Jing’s note: referring to 05.jpg)? Windows that cannot close tight, kids’ hands that are red from the coldness. My heart is broken by this scene.

腾讯保定市网友 西奥:

Not expecting a wealthy and affluent life. Only expecting that everyone can live a comfortable life. Is it really so hard? Why are there still so many kids suffering?

腾讯网友 白开水:

It reminds me of my childhood. Feeling sad~! Kids, cheer up!

腾讯浙江省网友 :

(I) felt really sad on seeing the kid in the third picture wearing shoes that fit badly. I recalled my childhood. Kids, study hard. Change your fate with your knowledge.

腾讯北京市网友 :

Their faces are red from the freezing weather.

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