16/09/2014 16:55 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Kids Who Risk Their Lives On The School Run


When most of us were kids, an exciting school run meant finding an unopened Snickers on the bus. But for these children, their daily journey to school is like something out of Indiana Jones.

We've already brought you the story of the Vietnamese schoolchildren being floated to school in plastic bags by their determined parents in the wake of flooding, but we think these school runs take the biscuit.

In the Indonesian village of ​Sanghiang Tanjung, pupils must clamber across the fragile remnants of a semi-submerged bridge to cross the river to their school.


The bridge was destroyed in the 2012 floods - there are plans to rebuild it, but for now the children have to grit their teeth and teeter over the fast-flowing river

In another village of the island nation, crossing the river to get to school is even more hair-raising.

Schoolchildren living in Batu Basuk don't even have the luxury of a broken bridge - theirs was swept away in the flooding. For the past two years, they have had to teeter across the water between ropes.


Even when they reach terra firma, it isn't the end of their ordeal - their no-doubt trembling legs face a seven-mile hike through the jungle before they finally reach their classrooms.

Elsewhere, in Nepal, plucky schoolgirls zip-wire across mountainous terrain every morning to get to lessons.

The improvised rope-and-pulley systems are, as you'd imagine, unsafe, so NGOs are working furiously to replace them with far safer cable cars.

You might think students from the village of Pili, north-west China, are luckier - the journey to their boarding school may be 125 miles, but at least they only have to do it a few times per year.


The catch? The two-day trek involves scaling cliffs, crossing single-plank bridges, and wading across four rivers in the freezing foothills along the China-Tajikistan border. Some of the mountain trails used by the pupils and the teachers who accompany them are only inches wide.

Think about that next time you're complaining about the traffic on your morning commute!