A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The importance of getting an education is shown by the kids who travel great lengths to attend the nearest school. Themes include curiosity, perseverance, humility, courage, and teamwork.
Positive Role Models
The four kids travel great lengths and face dangerous surroundings to get to their closest schools and get an education. Even in the midst of difficulties and challenges that are unthinkable for most children in developed countries, these four kids maintain a positive attitude, determined to better themselves by getting to school and learning.
Violence & Scariness
Peril for two kids in Kenya who must run across open spaces and avoid getting trampled by elephants. A little girl sprains her ankle along the mountainous rocky terrain between her home and her school in Morocco.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that On the Way to School is a 2013 documentary in which four kids from different parts of the world -- Kenya, Morocco, Argentina, and India -- are filmed traveling tremendous lengths over difficult terrain to attend school. Not only should this put things into perspective for kids prone to complaining about going to school, but it also might even humble parents (or grandparents) fond of telling "When I was your age, I walked two miles to school each day" anecdotes. There is some peril -- a little girl sprains her ankle along the mountainous rocky terrain between her home and her school in Morocco, and two boys must run for cover when they fear that a herd of elephants is stampeding toward them. Overall, this documentary shows the difficulties many kids face simply to attend a school, something many families in more developed countries take for granted. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This eye-opening documentary should provide plenty for families to talk about. While it will most certainly give much-needed perspective to those of us who might complain about our commutes to school or work, what is especially astonishing about On the Way to School is how resilient and determined are these kids who are shown traveling far and treacherous distances to get an education. The challenges and difficulties they endure are almost beyond comprehension for those living in developed countries, and they underscore the problem of access to education so many in developing countries face.
While this documentary shows the "can-do" spirit of these kids, it only marginally touches on the inherent barrier placed on children and families living in these places where education is not as high of a priority or where kids must work to help provide food and sustenance. An argument could also be made that for all its implications about how it's relatively easy for kids in the developed world to get to and from school, the difficulties of kids trying to attend school in, say, Chicago's toughest neighborhoods could be equally as illuminating and worthy of investigation.
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