“We went around villages looking for just one precious kid to enroll as a first grader,” said the principal, Lee Ju-young. “There was none.”
So Ms. Lee and local residents, desperate to save the 96-year-old school, came up with an idea: How about enrolling older villagers who wanted to learn to read and write?
Ms. Hwang and seven other women, aged 56 to 80, stepped forward, with at least four others asking to be enrolled next year…
Like many first graders on their first day, Ms. Hwang cried. But these were tears of joy.
“I couldn’t believe this was actually happening to me,” she said. “Carrying a school bag has always been my dream.”