Summer learning camps attracting 1,000 volunteers


Sat, Jul 03, 2004 - Page 2

One thousand college students and community members volunteered yesterday to participate in a summer learning camp targeted at children living in remote areas with the purpose of diminishing the educational gap between urban and rural elementary school children.

Founded jointly by the Ministry of Education and the National Youth Commission, the program's pre-departure orientation was held at the National Institute for Compilation and Translation.

Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝) and Youth Commissioner Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) opened the ceremony and invited researchers to share their expertise in counseling and caring for underprivileged students with volunteer counselors.

The program targets schools with a high proportion of students from Aboriginal and low income families, single-parent families and families including foreign mothers, as well as remote and less accessible schools.

To promote social justice and equality and to make up for differences in educational opportunities for these students, the summer camp activities will include recreation and studies in gender equality, human rights, English, history and literature.

Tu pointed out that there is a global trend toward a widening gap between the rich and poor and that the project will begin with 50 among 2,303 schools in prioritized areas.

According to the ministry, the summer program is merely the start of a long-term project that will continue after the start of the next school year. To ensure adequate human resources, the ministry will recruit college volunteers as well as alternative military service personnel.