A dozen Aboriginal children from the Atayal tribe were invited yesterday to attend a general education course at National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu City, an experience educators hope will inspire them to study at university.
Organized by Tsing Hua University professors Huang Yi-nung (黃一農) and Wang Chun-hsiu (王俊秀) and entering its third year, the project is part of a general education course called “Crossing Boundaries and Exploring.”
The project aims to encourage children to take action and pursue their dreams.
The course consists of a first assignment, a mid-term exam and a final exam.
The first assignment is a “field trip of life,” in which students have to interview one of their family members and tell their story based on an old picture.
The mid-term exam requires students to pursue a small personal dream, such as climbing the tallest mountain in Taiwan or talking to a foreigner in English for two hours.
The final exam asks a group of five to eight students to accomplish a mutual dream and to experience life as university students for a day was one of the group’s dreams.
Compressing university life into a one-day activity yesterday, the Atayal children first registered and received their student IDs and were then joined by university students to tour the campus, dorms and library.
They also attended general education courses and extra-curricular activities. At the end of the day, the children received a certificate for their efforts.
“The children’s joy and sense of humor affected our university students and they actually learned from each other,” Wang said.
He added that this was just a start because an adoption mechanism was being mapped out for university students to play a role in encouraging Aboriginal children to complete their education.
University students can also visit Aboriginal tribes to experience a different kind of learning, Wang said.