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Taiwanese, Chinese students to team up to teach in rural areas

2012/07/08 16:53:16

Taipei, July 8 (CNA) More than 200 students from Taiwan and China will team up to teach in rural areas in Taiwan and China in July in a program designed to model the spirit of Confucius, the Taiwan university that initiated the event said Sunday.

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

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

They will serve in Taiwan July 8-15 before traveling to China's Shaanxi and Qinghai provinces and to the cities of Chongqing, Wuhan and Hangzhou July 21-29.

"We hope the event, now in its third year, will put the education of love into practice," Chang Kuo-en, president of the National Taiwan Normal University, said at a press conference.

Chang expressed hope that the spirit of the volunteers will move the students in these rural areas, 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.

"I think the event is very meaningful," said Peng Jiajia, 22, a communications student from Yunnan University who will be teaching in northern Taiwan's Hsinchu County.

"There's nothing much we can teach, we just hope to broaden their (rural students') perspectives a little and show them the outside world," said Peng.

Meanwhile, Xu Yifang, a journalism and communications graduate 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 will give her a chance to see not only the big cities of Taiwan, but also its rural areas.

Xu said she will be introducing the culture, customs and food of her hometown in Guizhou Province to students in eastern Taiwan's Taitung County.

(By Christie Chen)