Supergrandmas of Taiwan
Supergrandmas of TaiwanThis year, the MOE has started sponsoring basic education classes for adults especially for those who had to discontinue their schooling (mostly females aged over 55) and the growing population of foreign spouses who need to learn languages. A total of 2,415 classes were held with 48,300 participants. Such adult education classes have helped decrease Taiwan's illiteracy rate among those over 15 years old to drop from 7.11% (about 1.3 million of the population) in 1989 to 2.52% in 2006 (about 472,000).
Learning never stops
The Chung Long Elementary School in Taipei County has been holding adult basic education classes since 1997. Among the reading, computer literacy, and English and Japanese classes, the reading class has the biggest number of students from every ethnicity and age, including a lot of grandmothers who believe that learning never stops. They are no less diligent than young people. One handicapped student, Chuan Chi comes to school with her walking aid every day, impressing her classmates and teachers with her determination.
Foreign spouses learn to speak Chinese
The adult education classes held in Mei Cyun Elementary School in Taichung County are attended mainly by foreign spouses. Chen Yen Tsui, a foreign spouse who can't speak Chinese, said that she and her husband would often quarrel largely due to her difficulty in communicating and their different values and lifestyles. She decided to take adult education classes that taught her to read, write, and speak Chinese. She even won the Chinese reading competition for foreign spouses organized by the Ministry of Education in six counties and cities in central Taiwan.
Lin Dong Mei, the mainland Chinese spouse from Hai Nan Island, is the model student of her language class. Her father-in-law, Chang Sheng How, encouraged her to attend the class and also enrolled himself in another class to make up for the interruption of his education when he was a child. They are both model students in their classes.