Xiang Zhengguo, teacher of Sixin Village School in southwest China's Chongqing, is having lunch with his only student, Oct. 21, 2015. (Xinhua/Tang Yi)
CHONGQING, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- In Yunyang County, the number of schools has declined over the past 10 years from 482 to 138 as 42,000 students have packed up their textbooks and left. The county's Jianquan Township has seven schools, two of them attended by only a single student.
Welcome to schooling in this area of southwest China's Chongqing Municipality. In a situation common in the Chinese countryside, urbanization has driven families to enroll their kids in bigger schools away from their hometowns. Outdated rural schools are being simply left behind.
Sixin Village School is one of those in remote, mountainous Jianquan with just a single student -- fourth-grader Wu Tao, to whom Xiang Guozheng teaches all subjects on the curriculum.
When Xiang first came to the school eight years ago, it had over 100 students, and the smallest class had nine occupied desks. Now he's the only teacher left.
"My teaching still follows a timetable. For gym class, we do some skipping, play basketball or go for a run. I bought a CD player to play songs for Wu Tao in music class," the 58-year-old says.
A blackboard in one of the school's classrooms still bears a drawing from 2009.
Wu Tao's parents are some of the few locals who haven't migrated away from Jianquan. They still farm in their village.
Even Wu Tao may not stay long. Local policies now call for students at fifth grade or above to move to bigger schools in more urban areas.
Xiang says he'll keep teaching at Sixin Village School as long as there are children to teach.