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The Surabaya Taipei International School - An Example of Outstanding Taiwanese Education

The Surabaya Taipei International School - An Example of Outstanding Taiwanese Education
The Surabaya Taipei International School (STIS) in Indonesia moved to a new location last year (2008). Located in a newly developed area in Surabaya, the new school buildings are spacious and magnificent. The school is covered with trees and flowers. Children can be seen running and playing in the playground, with happy faces.

It took 17 months to complete construction of the new school, which has a combined floor space of 7,000 m2. All three new school buildings are three-storey structures. One of them is for teaching, one a dormitory for teachers and students (including a restaurant), and a third building serves as a conference hall for Taiwanese businessmen. The teaching building has 12 general classrooms and six specialist subject classrooms for primary and secondary students, five offices, a library, a student activity center and an independent kindergarten. The new campus has an outdoor basketball court, a 200m running track and a roomy activity hall with a high ceiling. In addition to the above, the schoolyard is covered with green grass, lined with trees and flowers of many colors, all of which makes the school beautiful and full of life.

One of the special features of the school is that it makes good use of sunlight and has good green coverage with trees and grass, with the kindergarten separated from the teaching and physical activity areas.

The school superintendent, Tsai Hsien-ko, says that most people think of an overseas Taiwanese school as a place that Taiwanese businessmen's children attend and Taiwanese teachers teach at. He thinks, like other countries' international schools, overseas Taiwanese schools face challenges such as free market competition and language dominance. Since it was founded 14 years ago, the STIS experienced the 1998 Indonesian financial crisis, which caused the temporary relocation of the school three times. Thanks to help from Taiwanese businesses and the government, conditions have improved. After moving to this location, the school's enrollments have increased by 60% from 89 last year to 144 this year. The school's student population is expected to reach 200 in three years (by 2011).

In response to the government's "southward's policy", five overseas Taiwanese schools have been set up. In addition to Taiwanese children, the STIS is now permitted to enroll non-Taiwanese students and has thus become one of the many international primary and secondary schools in Surabaya. Superintendent Tsai indicates that the school must be run like an overseas Taiwanese business and maintain its competitiveness if it is to maintain a state of sustainable development.

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