5 Of The Most Unusual Schools In The World
- May 30, 2017
- Posted by: polyglot polyglot
- Category: Uncategorized
Most students arrive at school in the morning, bookbag in hand, and return home in the afternoon with an armful of homework and stories from recess. They come back the next day to sit in rows of wooden desks facing a blackboard while the teacher writes down the answers to their assignments in chalk. This is what comes to mind for many of us when we think of schools. However, some schools are a little different than we expect.
5 Dongzhong Mid-Cave Primary School
The Dongzhong Mid-Cave Primary School is located in a cave in the mountainous Miao village in Guizhou province, China. Dongzhong itself means “in cave.” Guizhou is one of China’s poorest provinces and receives very little government support. Instead of using resources to build a free-standing school building, the community started the cave school in 1984 with eight teachers and 186 students.
Some students spend up to six hours daily to travel to and from the school in the pursuit of knowledge, but some villagers have had concerns about the school being allowed to continue. Their fears were realized 23 years after the school opened when Chinese authorities closed the school. A government spokesperson said that the change was necessary because China isn’t a “society of cavemen.”
4 The Boat Schools Of Bangladesh
Twice a year, Bangladesh experiences floods which leave millions of its citizens without access to clean water, electricity, and other necessities. It becomes difficult for children to attend schools and for those schools to keep their doors open. To combat the challenges caused by the annual floods, a nonprofit organization called Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha came up with a brilliant solution. They built houses, health care centers, and schools that float.
The nonprofit operates almost 100 boat schools. Each of these schools is solar powered and equipped with a laptop computer, Internet access, and a small library. The boat schools are a school and school bus hybrid. Whenever there’s a flood and every other service is closed for business, the floating schools are still operational. They pick their students up from docks and riversides, then dock somewhere so that class can begin. After the lessons are through, the boat schools return the students to their homes and another group of students is picked up. About 70,000 children have benefited from the boat schools since they were established in 2002.
3 Abo Elementary School
Abo Elementary School takes pride in being the first underground school in the United States. At the height of the Cold War as the United States came close to engaging in nuclear warfare with the Soviet Union, President John F. Kennedy swore that he would establish public and private structures that could serve as nuclear fallout shelters. Artesia, a town in New Mexico, felt it would be attacked due to its refinery and proximity to White Sands Missile Range and the now-abandoned Walker Air Force Base. They decided to build an underground school that would also function as a shelter.
The school is completely underground. A playground was built on its roof. The school has three different entrances, each of which is protected by an 800-kilogram (1,800 lb) steel blast door. It’s also equipped with decontamination showers. The school is reportedly capable of resisting radiation and withstanding a 20-megaton blast. In its day, it had a morgue, a generator, a well, its own ventilation system, and stockpiles of food and medication. Despite all of this, many of its students had no idea that they attended elementary school in a bomb shelter.
Fortunately, Abo Elementary School was never utilized as a bomb shelter. It was closed in 1995 because of increasing maintenance costs.
2 Brooklyn Free School
Brooklyn Free School is divided into two. The upper school for children between the ages of 11 and 18, and lower school for students between the ages of 4 and 11. There is no curriculum. Students are allowed to choose any class they want and are allowed to stay away from school if they wish. The students make the school rules.
Some students might decide to be alone and carry out independent studies, which could last years. Some students might decide to play, wander around, or just nap. There are classes such as “The Wire and Urban Studies” where students watch and then discuss the TV show The Wire. In another class, students compare restaurants around the town before going to eat in those restaurants.
Every week, meetings are held to decide how the school operates, from how the school should be managed to how students should be admitted. There are no tests, homework, or grades. If a student wants to, he can call a meeting and discuss ideas with the whole school. Classes are run by students while the teachers act as moderators. According to the principal, the school expects every student to find his or her own way. Brooklyn Free School’s model has been criticized because of its lack of curriculum.
1 Witch School
Witch School teaches about witchcraft to budding witches worldwide. While the majority of its 40,000 students take their courses online, it has a physical location where students can also take classes in person. The school building was initially located in Roseville, Chicago, where it stayed for two years before moving to Salem, Massachusetts, the same town where about 200 people accused of witchcraft faced trials and execution between 1692 and 1693.
The move from Roseville to Salem became necessary because the school came under fire from Christians who organized protests and sprinkled holy water on the wheels of the cars driven by the witches. Others sprinkled holy water on their own cars for protection. Salem was chosen because it has its own witch community and is generally witch-friendly.