Low birth rates have made this school desperate for students
This may be the loneliest school in the world. Everything is completely built, including newly furnished classrooms with teachers, but there is not a single student attending the first grade. The school's officials got so desperate to find students that they launched a social media recruiting campaign.
Impacted by a lower birth rate in Taiwan, the XinXing Elementary School, located in Shuili Township, Nantou County, is further affected by its remote location. Including kindergarten kids, the student body only has 49 students at the time of reporting. There are only 3 students in the second grade, and the largest classes have 10 students each in third and fifth grades.
The first-grade classroom is fully furnished and even equipped with computers, but it desperately needs students. Finally, the school launched a promotion campaign on Facebook to tout the benefits of small classes. According to Principle Xu, "The school may be small but is fully equipped with high-quality equipment. The teacher will only need to take care of a few students. It feels like a family."
The Facebook promotion also talks about how the one student who enters the first grade will become the top student in all subjects and enjoy winning all the awards. Eventually a parent from the big city of Taipei was willing to transfer his child to the school.
Taiwan has ranked among the countries with the lowest birth rates in the world, as the fertility rate has fallen to below one baby per woman. Unlike Big-Brother China, Taiwan does not have a one-child policy that deliberately controls birth rates, and it actually wants to boost birth rates. Industrialization and urbanization are the primary factors that have impacted the birth rates in the originally agricultural island, and Taiwan is not alone in the regional trend toward lower birth rates.