Rather Than Close Their Doors, South Korean School Fills Classrooms With Illiterate Older Women

With national birth rates continuing to fall, one South Korean elementary school has come up with a clever way to keep their doors open amidst their lack of new young students.

Daegu Elementary is just one of the many rural schools in Gangjin County searching for kids to fill up their classrooms.

The New York Times says that the school used to teach about 90 kids back in the 1980s – and now there are only 22.

So as a means of saving the school, the principal invited elderly illiterate women to finally fulfill their dreams of learning to read and write.

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Eight senior women enrolled as first graders at the school, and four more women pledged to enroll next year.

70-year-old Hwang Wol-geum told The Times that she used to weep with sadness whenever she had to watch her friends go to school while she stayed home to look after her younger siblings – but now, she is crying tears of joy over the possibility that she may finally learn to write letters to her children.

“I couldn’t believe this was actually happening to me,” said the senior. “Carrying a school bag has always been my dream.”

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