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Japanese Teachers’ Study Visit to Taiwan has Excellent Results

From left, Political Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Tsai Ching-Hwa and Mr. Maeda Haruo, president of the National Teachers Federation of Japan

A group of 10 Japanese teachers led by Mr. Maeda Haruo (前田晴雄), the president of the National Teachers Federation of Japan, visited Taiwan from January 3 to January 7 at the invitation of the Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan. Their visit was arranged as part of the Japanese Teachers Field Study Group in Taiwan Project, and it represented a refreshing resumption of the education related collaboration and engagement between Japan and Taiwan which was seriously interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. 
The teachers were invited to visit elementary and junior-high school campuses and engage in two interactive conferences with elementary and junior-high school teachers. The first conference, hosted on January 4 by Giao Ping Elementary School (僑平國小) in Chiayi City, was the Project’s 38th Elementary and Secondary Education in Taiwan and in Japan Conference, and the theme was the Development and Future Outlook of Technology Education for Elementary and Junior High Schools. The participants discussed the common features of technology education in Taiwan and Japan, and measures for resolving associated problems. 
The next day, as part of the second interactive conference—Older Guiding Hands: Practical Technology Education in Action—the Japanese teachers had a valuable opportunity to observe older students at Tainan Municipal Yanshuei Junior High School (鹽水國中). and younger students from local elementary schools working together on a hands-on, practical skills learning activity. They saw this innovative approach to elementary education and discussed the results. 
On January 6, the teachers were warmly welcomed to the Ministry of Education by Dr. Tsai Ching-Hwa, Political Deputy Minister of Education. They also met with personnel from the Ministry of Education’s K-12 Education Administration and shared thoughts on STEM education, improving teaching quality, education packages, sharing of resource pools, and related matters. 
Mr. Maeda said that he and the other teachers had all gained a substantial amount of knowledge to take back to Japan, and that they will be forever grateful to the Taiwan Provincial Education Association (台灣省教育會) for its efforts that went into making this field study visit possible. There are similarities in the cultures of Japan and Taiwan, and teachers in Japan and in Taiwan face similar education related issues, so professional interactions like these between teachers, and establishing communication channels for more friendly education exchanges provide more opportunities to draw on and benefi from each other’s experience and wisdom.