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China’s Walking School Has Children as Young as Eight Marching 1,000 Km across the Country

The Xu Xiangyang Education and Training Workroom, or the Walking School is an atypical educational facility which enrolls Chinese problem children and forces them to walk up to 1,000 kilometers through across the country in order to teach them discipline and make them take responsibility for their actions.

In a Chinese society which leaves no room for failure, spoiled kids, school dropouts and troublemakers risk getting left behind in a competitive race for success. To make sure that doesn’t happen, parents who have exhausted all other options enroll their children in the Walking School, a special boarding school based in Chengdu which forces them to march cross-country all day long and teaches them military discipline. Founded by ex-army veteran Xu Xiangyang, this correctional facility is inspired by the Red Army’s long march in the 1930s, and has a reputation of turning ineducable delinquents into outstanding members of society. Children between between 8 and 18 are brought here, often by force, and left to deal with the hardships of military life to hopefully change their ways.

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