Ele­men­tary school grad­u­a­tion: 1 grad­u­ate, 300 guests

The China Post - - LOCAL -

An abo­rig­i­nal pupil at the coastal Hop­ing Ele­men­tary School in Taitung County, south­east­ern Tai­wan, had a very unique grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony Fri­day in that not only was he the only grad­u­ate, but the event turned into a tourist at­trac­tion with over 300 un­ex­pected guests at­tend­ing his grad­u­a­tion party.

The mini-school threw a party for Chen Ting-wei ( ) and the fes­tive at­mos­phere with abo­rig­i­nal games, a photo ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tur­ing the coastal town­ship and stands selling food and hand­i­crafts at­tracted many tourists cu­ri­ous about the school.

With only 20 pupils, the Hop­ing Ele­men­tary School is one of the small­est schools for pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion in Tai­wan. At the mo­ment, 80 per­cent of the pupils come from a nearby vil­lage of the Amis tribe.

Ting-wei is the fifth of the six chil­dren of the Chen fam­ily to have grad­u­ated from the school. His younger brother is cur­rently in the fifth grade.

Prin­ci­pal Shih Hsiu-ying told the visi­tors that when Ting-wei started at­tend­ing the school, he had three class­mates. He be­came the sole pupil in the third grade, and re­mained so for three years un­til the school de­cided to have him join younger chil­dren in a mixed class in his sixth year, so that he could have com­pany while study­ing.

As the only grad­u­ate, Ting-wei said he did not mind at all — af­ter all, he bagged all the prizes and presents for grad­u­ates.

Be­sides, he also en­joyed the pop­u­lar­ity when tourists asked him to have their photos taken with him. Good at math and in­ter­ested par­tic­u­larly in ma­chines, Ting-wei said that his grad­u­a­tion wish is that maybe one day he can have a back­hoe sim­i­lar to the one that his fa­ther op­er­ates.


Chen Ting-wei, the sole grad­u­ate of the class of 2015 at the Hop­ing Ele­men­tary School in Taitung County, poses for a photo with his gifts at the grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony at the school yesterday.

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