Walking school spreads literacy in China

Published on Jan 30, 2006 12:02 PM IST

Call it the Long March approach to education Xu Xiangyang and hundreds of his students are taking the road less travelled in China in the hope that it will make a difference to their lives.

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None | ByAFP, Chengdu

Call it the Long March approach to education Xu Xiangyang and hundreds of his students are taking the road less travelled in China in the hope that it will make a difference to their lives.

Often referred to in China as the 'Walking School', Xu runs a quasi-military educational programme for troubled children and adolescents that aims to instill the values of discipline, hard work, respect and a sense of community.

"The idea is to let the children fully experience their lives and sharpen their wits through walking and travelling," Xu said.

"By walking with and living in a group, they will be able to shake off their laziness and selfishness," Xu said. Xu, who hails from Jiangsu province, said his struggle to educate his own rebellious son inspired him to this quasi-Buddhist approach to education.

The 46-year old retired teacher believes that the pain of marching long distances brings learning and understanding about oneself and others.

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