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Students from Taiwan, China, HK set out on Confucian quest

Nearly 300 students from Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong gathered at National Taiwan Normal University on Sunday to pledge their commitment to educating the less fortunate.

The students, who come from 24 schools on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, aim to live up to the Confucian principle of a universal right to learn (Chinese: 有教無類) by tutoring in remote areas of both China and Taiwan. The esteemed teacher Confucius, who lived in the 6th century BC, is known for his travels around China to expound his beliefs and teachings.

This is the fourth year that the program, called "In Confucius' Footsteps" (青年踏尋孔子行腳) has called upon young students to work together as teachers. This year's event saw 285 students come together for that purpose, a notable growth from the first year's event which had 100 students.

In addition to helping out the less fortunate, the students can learn from each other's diverse backgrounds. The students come from some of the top schools in Taiwan and China, including NTNU, Beijing's Tsinghwa University, Peking University, and the University of Hong Kong, among others.

The modern disciples of Confucius set out Sunday to visit 16 junior high schools across Taiwan. They are then set to head for eight schools in China in Shaanxi, Qinghai, Chongqing, Inner Mongolia, Yunnan, and other locations.