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Overseas Schools

An Introduction to Overseas Chinese Schools

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  • Post Date: 07/05/2006

I. Establishment Background

The government's "Go-South Policy" during the 1990s prompted a number of Taiwanese businessmen and employees to immigrate with their families to Southeast Asia. Concern for their children's education and potential problems of continuing schooling in Taiwan resulted in the establishment of several overseas Chinese schools, made possible by governmental support and fundraising efforts of businessmen everywhere. Six schools in all were established over time, scattered throughout Malaysia, India, Thailand and Vietnam. The "Overseas Chinese School Regulations" required the schools to report to Taiwan's Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission, as did 3,000 overseas schools worldwide. However, the practice of concentrating their efforts on educating Taiwanese students to enable them to continue their education in Taiwan set these schools apart from most overseas schools. For this reason, after the 1997 year-end evaluation the Executive Yuan declared the guidance of the following schools to be transferred to the Ministry of Education, starting January 1st 1998: Penang Tai Chiao School, Chinese Taipei School (Kuala Lumpur), Jakarta Taipei School, Surabaya Taipei International School, Thai-Chinese International School and Ho Chi Minh City Taipei School.

II. Establishment Standards

A. To alleviate the difficulty of establishing overseas schools, the Ministry of Education revised the Private School Law on February 6th, 2003 to provide a legal basis for school establishment and solve the lack of a concrete administration. Overseas schools are to be categorized as private schools and thoroughly monitored to ensure the basic rights of both students and teachers, in accordance with the "Regulations of the Establishment and Assistance for the Overseas Taiwan School" promulgated on March 7th, 2005.

B. Overseas Chinese schools must accept the guidance of the Ministry of Education and overseas offices. Taiwan's educational objectives and current systems must be applied to teaching. In addition to following local regulations, curriculum must follow domestic standards or guidelines applying to the same education level and category. Textbooks and supporting materials must be compiled or approved by the Ministry of Education. 

C. In order to provide high quality teaching environments, the ministry has promulgated the "Ministry of Education Criteria for Subsidy Grants for Overseas Chinese Schools" in addition to attaining permanent campuses for overseas schools. Subsidies will be granted for individual demands according to the development plan for each school. Funds may be granted for facilities, teaching material, extracurricular reading material, Chinese magazines or anything that corresponds with the domestic system to achieve synchronized education.

III. Current Conditions

A. Unable to conform to domestic curriculum standards, Thai-Chinese International School was removed from the list of overseas schools under the guidance of the ministry on February 1st, 2006. The ministry currently administers Chinese Taipei School (Kuala Lumpur), Jakarta Taipei School, Surabaya Taipei International School, Ho Chi Minh City Taipei School and Chinese Taipei School (Penang). (Due to administration difficulties, Penang Taiwan School has been suspended. On August 1st, 2005 Chinese Taipei School (Penang) was established in its place.)

B. The ministry has helped 4 schools attain permanent campuses, and is currently concentrating aid efforts on improving the teaching environment of Chinese Taipei School (Penang).

C. In addition to studying domestic courses, students will receive ample instruction on English and local languages. The schools offer diversified learning to help develop student potential and aim to produce talented, healthy citizens with international mindsets.

D. Most instructors are licensed teachers in Taiwan, and some are taking time from their own schools with wage suspension to serve overseas. Their giving spirit is the key to integrating teaching with caring.

E. To solve the lack of overseas staff and administration, the ministry has been sending members of the Alternative Education Service to practice licensed teaching at overseas locations since January 31st, 2002. As of February 2006 a total of 58 members in 13 groups have served, maintaining an average of 4 members per school.

F. To encourage study and support disadvantaged students, the ministry will provide each Taiwanese student with a subsidy of $5000 NT Dollars every semester, while stipends and further subsidies are open for application.

IV. Profiles

A. Jakarta Taipei School

1.       Established January 10th, 1992. Current Chairman Mou-cheng Lee, Representative Principal Pei-mei Yang. Currently there are 16 classes from kindergarten through high school, with 30 teachers and 280 students, 180 of which are Taiwanese.

2.        Distinguishing Features

(1)     High quality staff and synchronized standard education.

(2)     Quality and quantity oriented curriculum.

(3)     A caring, happy learning environment. Students of different grades remain innocent and do well with each other.

(4)     Small classes with good teacher-student interaction.

(5)     School activities are well coordinated between parents, representatives and Taiwan businessmen.

(6)     Development of student creativity, talent and fitness is valued.

(7)     The first school to open Chinese courses since the ban of Chinese characters in Indonesia.

(8)     Chinese class is open to foreigners for studying our language and culture.

B. Surabaya Taipei International School

1.        Established July 27th, 1995. Current Chairman Fu-san Chen, Principal Sheng-tai Jiang. Currently there are 12 classes from kindergarten through middle school, with approximately 20 teachers and 95 students, 65 of which are Taiwanese. The school is planning a high school division.

2.        Distinguishing Features

(1)     Develop student potential to produce healthy citizens possessing human concern, interdisciplinary skills, democratic discipline, international awareness and a lifelong desire to learn. Life experience will lead students to acquire basic skills required in modern society.

(2)     Focus on the teaching of foreign languages (English, Indonesian), information technology and supplementary education.

(3)     Diligent staff.

(4)     Making the most of small classes to realize individualized teaching and education without distinction.

C. Chinese Taipei School (Kuala Lumpur)

1.       Established April 13th, 1992. Current Chairman Feng-hsin Lee; in the process of principal recruitment. Currently there are 15 classes from kindergarten through high school, with approximately 35 teachers and 250 students, 115 of which are Taiwanese.

2.       Distinguishing Features

(1)     Diverse student clubs for developing student potential. Community and parent participation is encouraged.

(2)     Moral education.

(3)     Creative education.

(4)     Life education.

(5)     English Strengthening.

(6)     Book Club establishment.

(7)     ;Diverse contests and activities.

(8)     ;Reading activities.

(9)     ISO quality management.

(10) Establish association of domestic colleges and affiliate schools for educational exchange.

D. Chinese Taipei School (Penang)

1.       Established August 1st, 1995. Current Chairman Chao-ran Lu; in the process of principal recruitment. Currently there are 12 classes from kindergarten through high school, with approximately 30 teachers and 145 students, 135 of which are Taiwanese. 

2.       Distinguishing Features

(1)     Bilingual education guideline.

(2)     Diverse educational resources

a. Study of classical music.

b. Convenient school bus transportation system.

c. Health and Medical Center.

d. Student Counseling Center.

e. Multiple student insurance policies.

f. Campus safety.

g. Fitness education.

E. Ho Chi Minh City Taipei School

1.        Established October 27th, 1997. Current Chairman Shih-chi Chen, Principal Cheng-ban Chen. Currently there are 28 classes from kindergarten through high school, with approximately 60 teachers and 510 students, 450 of which are Taiwanese. The population of students continues to increase.

2.        Distinguishing Features

(1)     Development of patriotism.

(2)     Promotion of poetic education.

(3)     Emphasis on English education has improved average English ability of students.

(4)     Promotion of student clubs.

(5)     Hi-day activities for English, math, Chinese and social sciences.

(6)     Opening of Chinese classes.

(7)     Student interaction is highly encouraged.

V. Future Efforts and Vision

A. The ministry will continue to provide sufficient funds and educational support to overseas Chinese schools, and protect the educational rights of children overseas.

B. Assist schools to establish working educational systems that correspond with those in Taiwan, while establishing individuality and encouraging students to continue education in Taiwan.

C. Encourage overseas schools to cooperate and affiliate with domestic schools, using the opportunity to absorb educational resources.

D. Reduce trouble on campus by providing a complaint department to protect the rights of licensed teachers. Attract licensed teachers in Taiwan to serve overseas for high quality education.

E. Apply education efficiency evaluation and provide subsidies for high scoring schools.

F. Assist promotion of Chinese language education, establishing the overseas Chinese schools as local promotional centers.