Boarding school ensures education in remote plateau area

By Qin Qi
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 20, 2023
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Sitting 4,700 meters above sea level in Bange county, southwestern China's Tibet, Bange Sinopec Primary School is the highest primary boarding school in China, with a student body of 1,322 from over 10 townships across the county. 

The Bange Sinopec Primary School in Bange county, Nagqu city, southwestern China's Tibet autonomous region. (Photo by Qin Qi/

Covering an area of 79,000 square meters, the school opened in 2012 and is fully funded by China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec Corp). All students of the school are children of herders living in the area.

Due to rugged terrain with deep valleys and steep mountains, nomads in the area live scattered, and it takes hours and even a whole day for them to take their children to school. Thus, the campus offers accommodation services for the students who live far away from the school. 

The 1,322 students include eight who can neither attend regular classes nor go to special education schools due to health reasons, and are therefore receiving door-to-door teaching services at home. 

According to Awangwangdui, headmaster of the primary school, all of its 78 teachers have passed professional qualification trainings, and the rate of its students entering junior high school has reached 100%. 

To better take care of the daily needs of boarding school students, each of the dormitory building is equipped with dorm teachers who provide professional guidance and services. 

In the middle of October on the plateau, temperature could drop to as low as minus 10 degrees Celsius. The school has started providing heating in all classrooms and dormitories to keep students warm. 

Moreover, the school has installed a giant screen in its canteen displaying the cooking process inside the kitchen, so as to ensure food security and reassure the parents.  

Nuobujiangcao, a herder, comes to visit his child at Bange Sinopec Primary School in Bange county, Nagqu city, southwestern China's Tibet autonomous region. (Photo by Qin Qi/

Nuobujiangcao is a herder and father of two children in Xinji township, nearly 200 kilometers away from the school. His youngest child, a third-grader, is boarding at the school. "It's very hard for us to pick up our children every day," he said. "Thanks to the accommodation services provided by the school, we have enough time to graze the yaks and sheep, while our children could settle down to their studies."

To better highlight Tibetan culture, the school has set up special physical education courses. During classes, teachers would teach students a set of special gymnastic exercises integrating aerobics and traditional Tibetan dance moves. 

Sixth-grader Nimalazeng (middle) is attending a physical education class at Bange Sinopec Primary School in Bange county, Nagqu city, southwestern China's Tibet autonomous region. (Photo by Qin Qi/

Nimalazeng, a sixth grader at the school, said she feels very happy to be here, where she could make friends with children of her age. In addition to Mandarin and Tibetan languages, Nimalazeng could speak limited English as well after studying the language since the third grade. 

Speaking of the future, Nimalazeng said, "I wish I could go to Lhasa (the capital city of Tibet autonomous region) for high school or higher education."

Given the unique geographical condition, boarding schools are an effective way to ensure that most of the children living in the area have access to education, said Jiumaocuo, a professor at Tibet University, adding that the boarding schools are also conducive to promoting equal opportunity education in remote pasturing areas. 

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