Students may study, under the current education system, for up to 20 years, which includes 6 years of primary education, 3 years of junior high school, 3 years of senior secondary school, 4 years of higher education, 1 to 4 years for a master’s degree and 2 to 7 years for a doctoral degree.
■ Compulsory Education
9-year Compulsory Education system was put into effect in SY1968, of which 6 years are for elementary education and 3 years for junior high school. To offer more diverse development opportunities for junior high school students, technical arts education is included as well, in addition to the regular curriculum. Practical classes allow students to better understand vocational education and their future career choices. 12-year Basic Education was carried out in SY2014.
■ Senior Secondary Education
Senior secondary education consists of three years of schooling and includes “general senior secondary schools,” “skill-based senior secondary schools,” “comprehensive senior secondary schools,” and “specialized senior secondary schools.”
■ Junior College Education
Junior college education can be classified according to admission requirements into 5-year junior colleges and 2-year junior colleges. 5-year junior colleges admit graduates of junior high schools, whereas 2-year junior colleges admit graduates of skill-based senior secondary schools.
■ Teacher Education Programs
The teacher education system is comprised of diversified, training and selecting methods. Teachers who teach in preschool, primary school, junior high school, and senior secondary school are trained in universities of education or normal universities with teacher training programs or centers. These institutions are also responsible for providing in-service training and guidance for local education practitioners; from February 1, 2018, the training of teachers first implements qualification tests before conducting internships, and through exams selects a necessary number of students with just the right qualities, thus implementing a teaching and counseling training system. From December 1, 2018, the Ministry of Education will proclaim and implement the “Guidelines regarding teachers’ professionalism” and the “Criteria governing pre-service teacher education courses for teacher education” to implement a learner-centered training system.
■ University/College and Graduate School Education
The maximum study period for university education (including universities, colleges, universities of technology, and technical colleges) is 4 years (the Post-bachelor Second Specialty Program is 1-2 years, while the bachelor’s program is usually 2 years), and internships can last one-half to 2 years depending on the needs of the subject. For Master’s Degree candidates, the study period is limited to 1-4 years and for Doctoral Degree candidates to 2-7 years.
■ Special Education
At the stage before higher education, special education has been divided into preschool, basic education and senior high school. The education system is the same as in the rest of each phase of education, and each school needs to form special education classes. Separate special education schools are also established primarily for students with serious or multiple disabilities, while there are also special schools for students with hearing and visual impairments respectively. In order to meet the educational needs of special education students, the phases of education, the organization of the academic year, the education venues and way of implementation, the curriculum, teaching materials, and teaching and evaluation methods should all maintain flexibility. Special education and related service measures should be offered in a spirit blending adaptability, individualization, localization, accessibility and inclusion.
■ Arts Education
The goals of arts education are to cultivate artistic talent, enrich the spiritual lives of citizens and elevate the cultural level. Arts education in Taiwan can be divided into professional arts education offered at schools, general arts education offered at schools and arts education offered to the public.
■ Supplementary and Continuing Education
Supplementary and continuing education have the aim to supplement citizens’ life knowledge, raise the education attainment, transfer practical skills, cultivate sound citizens, and help society to progress. This education system offers supplementary education, continuing education, and short-term supplementary education: all citizens who are past the usual study age but have not received the nine years of basic education can benefit from supplementary education; citizens who did receive nine-year basic education can receive continuing education; citizens who want to improve their life knowledge and ability can receive short-term supplementary education.