National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) has launched a fundraising drive amid the global financial crisis to invite the public to make donations to help poor children receive an education, NTNU president Kuo Yi-hsiung (郭義雄) said yesterday.
The donations will be used to subsidize tuition, school lunches and health insurance, Kuo said, urging the country’s 206,963 elementary, junior high and high school teachers to support the drive.
He said each teacher was encouraged to donate NT$3,600, which is the equivalent value of the consumption vouchers that will be issued by the government in January in an effort to boost consumption.
Kuo said that if every teacher made the donation, NT$745 million (US$22.1 million) would be raised — enough to subsidize more than 140,000 children from impoverished families.
Speaking at the drive’s launch ceremony on Thursday, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) showed his support by donating not only the requested NT$3,600, but also NT$1 million to the fund drive.
Wang said he would invite legislators of different political parties to donate.
In addition, the NTNU announced a variety of other activities designed to draw attention to the impact of the global financial downturn on education among the disadvantaged.
The activities will include a Dec. 18 “lighting up” ceremony involving the country’s 4,000 elementary and secondary schools as well as 300 private sector companies. Starting that day, members of the public will be able to get free miniature light bulbs made of recycled materials from participating schools.
People are encouraged to wear the bulbs to show their concern for education for the nation’s poor children, Kuo said.