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Washington State Superintendent Visits Taiwan and Signs MOU with the MOE K-12 Education Administration

State Superintendent Randy Dorn from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) of Washington State visited Taiwan from April 13 to April 17, 2014, at the invitation of the Ministry of Education (MOE). His visit was coordinated by the Education Division of the TECO in San Francisco. On April 14, Dr. Ching-Shan Wu, Director-General of the MOE’s K-12 Education Administration and Mr. Dorn on behalf of the OSPI, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on international cooperation on primary and secondary levels of education. This MOU is quite special: it marks the first signing of such a document by the K-12 Education Administration, which was newly established as part of an organizational restructuring of the MOE in 2013.

The Ministry of Education has been committed to promoting international cooperation and exchanges in the primary and secondary education arena since the White Paper on International Education for Primary and Secondary Schools was issued in 2011. The focus is to ensure Taiwan’s younger generation is well-equipped with the range of competencies that will help them address the challenges of this 21st century. OSPI, the primary agency overseeing K-12 public education in Washington State, shares a similar vision for young American students, to broaden their global perspective. In this vein, in recent years OSPI has greatly supported the development of Chinese language and culture programs throughout the state. In view of the great significance of educational globalism and of learning Chinese as a crucial path to the international marketplace, OSPI was interested to explore opportunities for educational collaboration with Taiwan when San Francisco’s TECO Education Division initially proposed this bilateral MOU in 2013.

The MOU sets out general principles for promoting multi-dimensional links between the students, schools, educators, and administrators at primary and secondary levels of education in Taiwan and in Washington State. The principal areas of exchange are language education, culture, and professional training. With this umbrella, education institutions will have more opportunities to cooperate with one another and to develop exchange programs based on and catering to their particular mutual interests.