Mon, Jul 09, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Cross-strait student team aims for rural outreach

Staff writer, with CNA

More than 200 students from Taiwan and China have teamed up to teach in rural areas in both countries this month in a program designed to model the spirit of Confucius (孔子), the Taiwanese university initiating the event said yesterday.

A total of 211 students from National Taiwan Normal University and 16 Chinese universities, including Peking University and Tsinghua University, are to travel to 26 schools to teach disadvantaged students.

According to National Taiwan Normal University, the students will emulate the spirit of Confucius, who is also reputed to have traveled to many places and who proposed education for all.

They will serve in Taiwan from yesterday until Sunday before traveling to China’s Shaanxi and Qinghai provinces and to the cities of Chongqing, Wuhan and Hangzhou from July 21 to July 29.

“We hope the event, now in its third year, will put the education of love into practice,” said Chang Kuo-en (張國恩), president of the National Taiwan Normal University.

Chang said she hoped the spirit of the volunteers would move students in their rural destinations, so that “maybe in a decade or two, they too will pass on their love to society.”

Hsu Chia-wei, a fine arts student from Taiwan who joined the program last year, said she participated again this year because she hoped to bring a different learning experience to rural children, who often lack teaching resources.

The student teachers will teach regular classes, as well as cultural courses in which they will share experiences of their hometowns and culture with the students.

Xu Yifang, a journalism and communications student from Peking University, said she enrolled in the program because she wanted to learn more about Taiwan.

“I’ve always been interested in Taiwan, which shares the same cultural roots as we do,” said Xu, adding that the event would give her a chance to see not only the big cities of Taiwan, but also its rural areas.

Xu said she would introduce the culture and food of her hometown in Guizhou Province to students in Taitung County.

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