Unlike the schools that we have been to, these unusual ones are for the people who have walked a different path. From locations that will fascinate you to unique civilization histories, these schools will leave you amazed. Read on and take a virtual tour of these schools which will make you appreciate your good fortune.
1. Abo Elementary School – The Underground Marvel
Artesia in New Mexico was under the nuclear threat from the Soviet, due to the refinery it had, and of course it’s proximity to the White Sands Missile Center added to the woes. When USA went to war with the Soviet Union, President, J.F.Kennedy, pledged the construction of areas which would be immune to the nuclear threats. A school was built in in this area. Completely equipped with decontamination showers, stockpiles of food, a morgue and a ventilation system, this school is completely underground. Yes! You read that right! Completely underground!
Though it was never used as a Bomb Shelter, because there was no need ever, but the children going here never knew that they were attending elementary school in a bomb shelter.
2. Boat Schools in Bangladesh – The Floating Wonders
Girls in Bangladesh have no access to education and have to fight a lot of social battles to attend one with dignity. While only the boys are allowed easy access to education, the girls are refused the basic right to education, if the school is too far from their house. Certain climatic issues like heavy monsoon rains and the submerging floods add to the woes of these children too. This was noted by certain Organizations working for the betterment of the children in the country and one such initiative is what successfully morphed into the boat schools.
The concept is simple; if the children can’t reach schools, a boat school will reach out to them. This sounds impractical but has been the biggest initiative so far. Bangladesh now has a way out of illiteracy and it is the Boat schools that have played a major part in it.
3. Dongzhong Cave School China – The Mystics
While the name itself means “In Cave”, this school was made out of poverty and zilch resources to have a school built in Guizhou district of China. This is the poorest district of China and receives no government support. The community started this school on their own with 8 teachers and 186 students to begin with. The class rooms, the lecture halls, everything has been built in a cave. Such was the conviction to study that some students also traversed a total of six hours daily to reach the school and get initiated into the world of knowledge. Structured inside a big cave with only the cold walls to protect the children, this is what is worth a salute.
There have been repeated attempts by the Head honchos in Beijing to close down this magnificent effort of man translated in to the cave school. And the reason they state is as ambiguous as their own identities –“China is not a society of cavemen”! Duh!!!
4. Gulu Elementary School – In The Laps of the Clouds
A little known village in the Sichuan province of China, this school is in the clouds! While the school has five buildings and a superb basketball court, the trek to this school from the base of the mountain takes five hours; all this humungous effort for the bright future of the little children who take little steps to reach this school every day. This school came into existence in the 1980’s and is still run by a single teacher. When a child accidently injured himself while looking around for a toilet, this lone teacher rallied the villagers and gained some funding. This was used to make the toilet IN the school and also the basketball court which they have superbly made out of unused blackboard. Though the children need to be super conscious while playing a short game; they may accidentally throw the ball off the mountain! Little children meandering their ways through the zig-zag walk ways and the narrow harrowing cliffs – the effort it takes to be educated and we complain on no air-conditioning in government schools in India!
5. Harvey Milk High School – Of A Different Taste
6. Witch School – Potter Mania
7. Burgess Hill School – The Free School
So while you and I crib about the ills of modernization and the lack of amenities in the schools, there are some little feet somewhere, walking for miles in treacherous conditions, a free mind floating in the abundant boundaries of knowledge, without any restrictions or judgments.
And the next time you complain about your school and titter-tatter the educational system, recall this post. You will feel a way lot more positive about things!