There’s a school in rural China with only one student, who learns and plays alone

Xu Shuhui is the only student at her school in China.

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Xu Shuhui is the only student at her school in China.
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INSIDER

  • In China, a rural school had only one student.
  • She studied with a single teacher, and usually learned and played alone.
  • After the population of her village dropped, her parents couldn’t afford to send her elsewhere, so she continued to attend school alone.

Xu Shuhui was the only student in her gym class, math class, and music class.

In fact, she was the only student at her school.

In 2016, INSIDER reported that Fei’an Primary School used to have more than 300 students, taught by 50 teachers, but the population plummeted when families moved out of the mountains. Shuhui’s parents couldn’t afford to send her to a boarding school, so she worked one-on-one with her teacher, day in and day out – although sometimes, her teacher invited younger preschoolers to play with her, so she wouldn’t be lonely. It’s unclear if, two years after Reuters visited her school, she still attends alone.

China has a population of nearly 1.4 billion people, the most of any country in the world. However, the population is unevenly distributed between urban centers and rural areas. Because of the dense population in Beijing and Shanghai, China went so far as to implement population caps on the two cities, both of which are home to more than 20 million residents.

But that couldn’t be further from what Shuhui experienced on a daily basis.

Watch the full video of Xu Shuhui, the only student at her school, below: