An elite private high school in Tainan of south Taiwan has been hit by serious financial troubles, the latest case of how the island's low birth rate has affected its schooling system.

Chang Jung Senior High School, founded in 1885, has decided that it will have to suspend paying its faculty in December and January due to a shortage of operational funds, United Daily News reported Thursday.

The school has been in financial difficulties since August when it decided to reduce the salaries of all the faculty, which triggered strong protests from teachers. The school and faculty have been negotiating since August but failed to reach an agreement.

The school administration attributed the financial difficulty to the shrinking number of students. Due to the low birth rate in Taiwan, the number of students in the school has dropped from about 6,000 six years ago to 3,000 today, but the school's tuition level has remained unchanged for years.

The population of Taiwan saw negative natural growth for the first time in the first six months of this year. A total of 88,098 people died in Taiwan from January to June this year while only 86,961 infants were born.

Schools, particularly private schools like Chang Jung Senior High School, have been bearing the brunt. Tamkang University, a private university and the fourth-largest in Taiwan in terms of student enrollment, reported a record low of 24,000 students in 2019.