Friday, April 02, 2004

Child exploitation or education?

On my way to work around 7:00 am, the streets of Tainan City are almost empty. The only visible traffic is the kids riding their bicycles and parents driving their scooters, all converging to a specific location – a nearby school.
When you pass by one of these schools, at these early hours of the day and while the city is still half asleep, you can see Taiwanese kids busy cleaning their school yards.
In all Taiwan schools, the kids clean their school before attending classes.
It is amazing how these young kids seem so concentrated and committed to what they are doing and with no apparent supervision.
Here, discipline is learned at a young age and kids get to understand that hard work is necessary to achieve goals.
In some countries this would be considered child labor exploitation, in Taiwan it’s called "labor education" and is said to build character.
Perhaps western countries should adopt this education technique. I have this feeling that it would do wonders to correct spoiled kids’ behaviors!!!

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