The Last Children – level 3
South Korea’s Nokdo Island only has a few children left and it is rapidly depopulating.
There are about a hundred residents and the children don’t have many playmates. A school opened especially for them a few years ago, and the teacher was dispatched from the mainland.
Nokdo is emblematic of a wider democratic crisis, with South Korea having the world’s fastest aging society and the lowest birth rate in the world in 2020. South Korea’s economic boom in the 1970s saw the rise of world-class manufacturers like Samsung and Hyundai. As more women entered the workforce, family planning campaigns, including sterilization, began. More recently, soaring houses prices in cities have been blamed for fewer babies in the country.
Despite the lack of friends, Nokdo provides a better playground for the last children than big cities. The island has no traffic, it isn’t noisy, and the air is clean. The children can play outside more actively and they like it there.
Difficult words: dispatch (to send someone or something to a place for a particular purpose), emblematic (representative or symbolic), sterilization (a surgery to make someone unable to make babies).
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