Empty classrooms, silent halls: Taiwan’s declining birthrate forces schools to close

Source: theguardian.com theguardian.com

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In the courtyard of the Chung Hsing private high school, desks and chairs are piled high like a monument or an unlit bonfire. Mounds of debris cover the play area, as two construction workers pull more broken furniture from empty classrooms, throwing them towards a pickup truck. The central Taipei private school closed in 2019 after failing to reverse financial problems caused by low enrolment, and was sold to developers. The school was an early victim of a problem now sweeping across Taiwan’s educational institutions: decades of declining births mean there are no longer enough students to fill classrooms. Like...