An education is often considered one of the most basic human rights in the world. Many have campaigned throughout history to give children the right to learn, to be given the opportunity to develop their knowledge in order to give them the best start in life.
Even in some of the most far-flung countries, education is key to even the remotest of villages having their own education systems.
We’ve scoured the globe to find some of the most remote schools. Imagine the commute for some of these!
1. Gulu, China
In the Guizhou Province of China stands Banpo Elementary School. This school is often given the moniker of the “School in the Clouds” with its very extreme elevation in the rocky terrain of the region.
It takes children five hours to scale the cliff face to reach the school with some of the path being a mere 40cm across before reaching a gut-wrenching drop.
China has its fair share of remote schools, including one that involves pupils climbing rickety wooden ladders over 800m up a cliff face.
Definitely not a place to go if you suffer from vertigo!
2. Rio Negro, Colombia
In the rainforest terrain of Colombia, sits a school that is only accessible by an 800m zip-wire along the canopy.
The children zip along the wire, the youngest being a mere five years old, despite the 365m drop into the ravine below.
The speed of the journey can sometimes be as fast as 40mph, with no safety harnesses and just a really good grip on the handles.
3. The Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are a remote island region off the coast of South America.
These small islands are under British rule, and thus have a similar education system to mainland UK.
There are two schools in Stanley, the capital. However, due to the barren landscape and treacherous conditions of the islands (many areas are still full of mines), some of the children in more rural areas receive their education via travelling teachers in small settlement schools.
These travelling teachers work in “beats”, staying in local houses for up to two weeks at a time. After the two weeks are up, they move onto the next area either by Land Rover or light aircraft and continue classes via telephone and the Internet, using conference calling.
4. Scoraig Primary, Scotland
Off the coast of Scotland is a tiny island called Dundonnell and one of the most remote schools in the world. The tiny settlement of Scoraig has a primary school with a grand total of five pupils.
Scoraig is particularly remote as it is only reachable by boat or by a five-mile hike across rugged terrain. The place itself is deemed a bit “alternative” and uses wind power and encourages the use of organic farming.
There was an international campaign in 2015 to find a new teacher for this tiny island school, that was eventually filled by Stuart Benjafield from Somerset.
5. Matinicus Elementary School, Maine, USA
Set on a tiny island in the state of Maine, the Matinicus Elementary School has a grand total of four pupils, only one of who is male.
In fact, the area is so lightly populated that the school actually closed in 2007 as there were no pupils to teach!
The area itself has a number of public (state) and private schools, ranging with pupil numbers from the 60s to 300. The largest student to teacher ratio in the whole area is a maximum of 10:1