Education in Taiwan - The Road Ahead
Based on the blueprint of national development, the Ministry of Education sets the keynote for education policies, namely "to cultivate talents in all fields with creativity and global vision." Future actions will follow the four major tracks of "modern citizens," "Taiwan's entity," "global vision," and "social care." An all-out education reform is expected to take off.
For the year 2006, the Ministry of Education will carry on with its mission of cultivating citizens with higher competitiveness. In the aspects of kindergarten and rudimentary education, more funds will be infused into free early childhood education program for disadvantaged five-year-olds living in indigenous tribes, faraway places, and offshore islands. The Ministry of Education will also see to it that each and every young student is entitled to nutritious lunch at school and professional after-school care services. More talented college students will be recruited to teach free remedial lessons to young students living in financial hardship. In 2004 the Ministry of Education completed the first across-the-board Chinese, English, and math competence assessment tests for six graders. Test results were made into Taiwan's first scholastic attainment database, and there are plans to create databases featuring the performance of students of other grades. As for secondary education, more packages will be released to make the connection between the Grade 1-9 Curriculum and high school curriculum smoother. Internationalization of Taiwan's higher education remains an important task on the agenda. The Study Abroad Program (which provides funding to Taiwanese students studying abroad) will continue, and the introduction of the Taiwan Scholarship will prove an effective incentive for international students.
The Ministry of Education will carry on with its policies of "education output" and "education diplomacy." In addition to making Taiwan the world's leading Chinese language education provider, the Ministry of Education also seeks to put together Chinese language teaching resources of local universities and create an official certificate system for Chinese language teachers. These steps are part of a systematic approach to introduce Taiwan's Chinese language teachers to the rest of the world.
Innovations in the education system symbolize our efforts in upgrading Taiwan's competitiveness. One of the objectives of education reform is to develop student's problem-solving ability. However, the success of education reform depends on the correct attitude of citizens who value student's versatile development over academic performance or brand-name schools. It is the Ministry of Education's sincere hope that all citizens will work together in realizing the common goal of "cultivating talents in all fields with creativity and global vision."