Senior Secondary Schools in Texas and Pingtung County in Taiwan to Resume Interactions
The 28 attendees give a thumbs up after the successful Taiwan–Texas High Schools Partnerships online meeting
Fostering multicultural understanding in primary and secondary schools has grown in popularity, in response to globalization and widespread adoption of technology at every level of education. In 2020, the Ministry of Education launched International Education 2.0 for Primary and Secondary Schools (IE2.0), an initiative to foster global citizens, promote education internationalization, and expand educational exchanges. This is an extension of the Primary and Secondary International Education 1.0 initiative which was launched in 2011 to connect primary and secondary schools in Taiwan with the world.
The goals of IE 2.0 complement those of the U.S.–Taiwan Education Initiative which encourages language education related cooperation between Taiwan and the United States. In Texas, these goals have fertile ground to grow. The Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Houston hosted an online meeting between Lamar Consolidated Independent School District (Lamar CISD) in Texas and the Pingtung Department of Education on January 25, 2022. Twenty-eight people—education officials and representatives of six senior secondary schools in Lamar CISD and three in Pingtung County—took part in an enthusiastic meeting.
Andrea Yang, Director of the Education Division of TECO in Houston, began the meeting with a brief outline of the U.S.–Taiwan Education Initiative and the key concepts of Taiwan’s International Education 2.0 for Primary and Secondary Schools. Dr. Terri Mossige, Chief Academic Officer for Lamar CISD then introduced Lamar as a highly diverse and fast-growing school district which had first established sister-school partnerships with schools in Pingtung back in 2015. Dr. Mossige lamented that these partnerships have become inactive because of the pandemic and declared that now is the proper time for them to resume activities. Eric Tsai, a division chief in the Pingtung County Education Department echoed Dr. Mossige’s enthusiasm, saying that he is also looking forward to more exchanges.
The representatives of the three Pingtung high schools and the six Lamar CISD high schools each expressed great interest in global cooperation activities. Gerard Kipping, the principal of Foster High School was delighted to see some old friends online, from his unforgettable visit to Dong Gang High School. Lamar CISD gave a commitment to use the information obtained for internal discussions on the possibility of pairing high schools as sister schools.
The participants in Taiwan and in the US all have equally high expectations that working together on school cooperation and international education exchanges will help improve multicultural education and help students become citizens of the world.
The participating schools were:
• Foster High School - Principal Gerard Kipping
• Fulshear High School - Principal Daniel Ward
• George Ranch High School - Principal Heather Patterson
• Lamar Cons High School - Principal Kaye Williams
• Randle High School - Principal John Montelongo
• Terry High School - Principal Juan Nava
• Dong Gang High School - Principal John Lin
• Fang Liao High School - Principal Chen Chih-Wei
• National Pingtung Senior High School - Director of Academic Affairs Hung Min-Feng