First Taiwan–France Exchange Conference for Primary & Secondary Schools Held Online
In order to inform principals and teachers of primary and secondary schools in France and in Taiwan about current education related international cooperation between France and Taiwan, the Education Division of the Taiwan Representative Office in France and the French Office in Taipei worked together to organize the First Taiwan–France Online Exchange Conference for Primary and Secondary School. Its aim was to encourage more international exchanges between primary and secondary schools in France and those in Taiwan.
The conference was held on March 14, 2023. The participants from 60 primary and secondary schools in France were sent details of Taiwan’s educational system beforehand, and similarly, the participants from 61 primary schools, 43 junior high schools, and 79 senior secondary schools (including 14 vocational high schools) in Taiwan were sent details of the French educational system beforehand. The representatives of the 243 schools participated in three conference sessions, together with representatives of five local education authorities in Taiwan.
The first session provided a comprehensive overview of bilateral educational cooperation at the primary and secondary levels. It was opened by Mr. Jean-François Casabonne-Masonnave, Director of the French Office in Taipei, and Wu Chih-Chung, Taiwan’s Representative in France, after which Ms. Nathalie Nikitenko, Director of the Directorate for European and International Relations and Cooperation, of France’s Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sport, and Dr. Nicole Yen-yi Lee, Director General of the Department of International and Cross-strait Education of Taiwan’s Ministry of Education, each presented their respective government’s policies on international educational cooperation.
Mr. Peng Fu-yuan, Director of Taiwan’s K–12 Education Administration described its core values and missions. He was followed by Mr. Nicolas Idier, General Inspector of Chinese of the French Ministry of Education, who spoke about the general situation of Chinese teaching in France. Ms. Lu Meichen, Director of the Education Division of the Taiwan Representative Office in France, then spoke about the history and current state of educational cooperation between Taiwan and France at primary and secondary school level, and programs for foreign students to come to Taiwan to study Chinese.
The focus of the second session—chaired by Director Lu Meichen—was on presenting the current range of possible patterns for cooperation and exchanges. The following pairs of partner schools in France and Taiwan gave brief accounts of the nature of their international interaction and exchanges: •the Affiliated Senior High School of National Kaohsiung Normal University in Kaohsiung, and Beaupré High School in Lille; •Municipal Jinhu Junior High School in Kinmen, and Pablo Neruda Junior High School in Alnay-sous-Bois; •Yongchun Senior High School in Taipei, and Pierre Poivre High School in La Réunion; and •New Taipei Municipal Banqiao Senior High School, and Galilée High School in Cergy.
The third and final session of the meeting was dedicated to questions and feedback. Since the conference, many schools have begun actively seeking a suitable partner school, to engage in international exchanges and enhance mutual understanding.