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Teachers on Loan Go Abroad Solving Problems of Taiwanese Schools

Teachers on Loan Go Abroad Solving Problems of Taiwanese Schools
Going overseas to teach is not a dream. Business teachers from the Ministry of Education Overseas Compatriot Educational Committee have gone abroad to help overseas Taiwanese schools under a new system allowing teachers from Taiwan the opportunity to teach abroad while receiving Taiwan salaries.

At present, the Ministry of Education is counseling Taiwanese international schools in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Penang, Malaysia: Jakarta, Indonesia and Surabaya, Indonesia. These five schools have been established privately with funding from Taiwanese businesses in accordance with Taiwan's educational standards for all levels of school education in order to help the children of Taiwan businessmen meet local educational standards upon their return to Taiwan.

However, these overseas schools have had a persistent shortage of Taiwanese teachers, and in order to solve this problem, the Ministry of Education has requested that men who have national certification as qualified teachers be allowed to provide overseas education in international Taiwanese schools as an alternative to military service, using temporary absence from duty without pay to provide service. But starting from August 1, 2007, such teachers who returned home and reinstated their employment could not make purchases based on their years of service overseas, resulting in disadvantages for future retirees. This inability to fully protect their rights and interests impacted the willingness of teachers to serve overseas.

As a result, the Overseas Compatriot Educational Committee found a solution and on January 2 this year issued an amendment to Article 19 of the "Overseas Taiwan Schools and Counseling Act", changing the secondment of teachers to a transfer, allowing teachers to take a post on leave with current pay to teach abroad. The original insurance, retirement and other benefits have been maintained, securing the rights and interests of all.

Based on the above act, this year on Feb. 13 the "Main Points for Implementation of Teachers on Loan to Privately Established Overseas Taiwanese High Schools and Lower Level Schools" were enacted to allow for procedures related to teachers on loan and establish effective periods for such matters to protect such teachers'rights and interests through clear standards. This will solve the problem of insufficient teachers willing to go abroad to teach.


Of the five schools counseled by the Ministry of Education, the Penang school is located in Malaysia, and its predecessor was known as the "Penang Taiwanese International School" established in 1991 by Mr. Wen Shi-ren, who was vice chairman of the Inventec Group. In September 2005, the Ministry of Education provided guidance for the existing teachers, students and facilities, and the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce in Penang together with the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce in the State of Kedah jointly took over operation to establish the "Taiwan Kedah Penang School" for the northern coastal region surrounding Penang.

Taiwan Kedah Penang School Principal Gao Jian-min in September 2006 went to serve in the Taiwanese school and was pleased to see that the Ministry of Education's loan system solved the problems of teachers through the business system.

Gao Jian-min said the Taiwan Kedah Penang School is a school providing 135 students 12 levels of classes for the first year of primary school through the senior year of high school. With the exception of a small number of foreign passport holders, the students are children of Taiwan businessmen in the northern region of Malaysia. The school has 24 teachers.

Prior to the establishment of the business system for teachers, teachers came from a variety of areas, ranging from Chinese Malaysians, overseas Taiwanese education students, Taiwanese teachers who married Malaysians, teachers recruited from Taiwan and Ministry of Education-supported teachers who opted for alternative military service.

However, as a result of the terms of employment for Taiwan-recruited teachers and teachers who had opted for alternative military service, there was a high turnover in teachers and curricula, disrupting continuing studies. Under the business system for teachers, schools can plan for their needs in advance and seek national school teachers at all levels, greatly aiding the job stability of the teachers.

Gao Jian-min pointed out that overseas Taiwanese schools and schools in Taiwan have adopted similar textbooks and teaching materials that help integrate Taiwan's social and cultural milieu. This has enabled an increase in employment of teachers with Taiwanese backgrounds and teachers who have received Taiwanese educational training. This has been an advantage for the teaching program and helped to enhance the quality of teaching.

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