The loneliness of a Chinese school's single student

2015-10-28 11:15:38 GMT2015-10-28 19:15:38(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

By Xinhua writers Du Jie, Zhang Haizhou

CHONGQING, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- In Yunyang County, the number ofschools has declined over the past 10 years from 482 to 138 as42,000 students have packed up their textbooks and left. Thecounty's Jianquan Township has seven schools, two of them attendedby only a single student.

Welcome to schooling in this area of southwest China's ChongqingMunicipality. In a situation common in the Chinese countryside,urbanization has driven families to enroll their kids in biggerschools away from their hometowns. Outdated rural schools are beingsimply left behind.

Sixin Village School is one of those in remote, mountainousJianquan with just a single student -- fourth-grader Wu Tao, towhom Xiang Guozheng teaches all subjects on the curriculum.

When Xiang first came to the school eight years ago, it had over100 students, and the smallest class had nine occupied desks. Nowhe's the only teacher left.

"My teaching still follows a timetable. For gym class, we dosome skipping, play basketball or go for a run. I bought a CDplayer to play songs for Wu Tao in music class," the 58-year-oldsays.

A blackboard in one of the school's classrooms still bears adrawing from 2009.

Wu Tao's parents are some of the few locals who haven't migratedaway from Jianquan. They still farm in their village.

Even Wu Tao may not stay long. Local policies now call forstudents at fifth grade or above to move to bigger schools in moreurban areas.

Xiang says he'll keep teaching at Sixin Village School as longas there are children to teach. Enditem (To watch the full video,visit New China TV on YouTube. http://xhne.ws/QCGKU )

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