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Cave School in China Closed by Authorities

A school set up in a cave by locals has been closed by Chinese authorities because it paints the nation in a bad light.

Dongzhong was an elementary school located in Miao village, China’s Guizhou province. The strange thing about this learning institution was that it was housed by a giant cave, carved inside a mountain over thousands of years, by wind, rain and earthquakes. There was a small structure put together by the locals, but children attended classes protected only by the cold walls of the cave.

Guizhou is one of the poorest provinces of China. Water and food shortages caused by desertification and drought have left the region regularly struggling to keep its people alive.

The lack of everything else needed to live has also translated to a lack of educational resources. For most children in the province, schooling is not an option.

With little to no support available from the government, the Miao people decided to take education into their own hands. Lacking resources to build, they decided to make one cave into their elementary school, aptly naming it Mid-Cave Primary School. Dongzhong was opened in 1984, employing 8 teachers to teach 186 students.

However, the ingenious plan was met with derision by Beijing, who recently ordered the school to be shut down. A government education spokesman said the school had to close because “China is not a society of cavemen”.

Former headmaster Xi Lin Chun described the closure as “a shame”.

“Even in the playground we didn’t have to worry about the weather as it was always dry,” he said, while adding that the conditions even aided teaching.

“The acoustics were great. We had the best choir in the area and there were also several rock strata visible on the walls which made teaching geology far more interesting.

“And we didn’t need books for biology — we had bats and lizards in there all day.”

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