For students, teaching is rewardingFour young Korean volunteers received an award from the Ministry of Information and Communication yesterday for teaching the use of computers and the Internet to Mongolian students in the capital, Ulan Bator.
The group, dubbed “IT Khan,” consists of four students at Hankuk Aviation University ― Yun Hye-young, Lee Min-u, Jeong Sang-su and Choi Si-un. Khan means tribal chief in Mongolian.
The students gave lessons on computers and the Internet for six hours a day at Ulan Bator University. After the class, they taught Korean to the Mongolians.
“I felt most rewarded when the Mongolians, who once did not even know how to turn on a computer, sent an e-mail message,” Mr. Lee said. “Through the experience, we became very close to the Mongolians.”
“A number of them said they had never seen a computer,” Mr. Jeong said. “But, in the end, they were able to create their own Web site.”
Seventy-four teams who did volunteer work in 32 countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa were nominated for the award. Ministry officials gave the Hankuk team high scores because they went the extra mile in their assignment, including preparing computer manuals written in Mongolian before they left for Mongolia.
Mr. Lee, the team leader, did volunteer work in Mongolia in 2002. “The country has made a progress in information technology, with more PC rooms.” he said.
Mr. Lee said one high school student whom he had previously taught entered Ulan Bator University to major in computer engineering, which Mr. Lee found moving.
“When we left, [the students] all came out to say goodbye,” said Ms. Yun.
The Koreans said they learned more than they taught, and hoped to have another chance to do volunteer work overseas.
by Ha Ji-yun