Taiwan and Japan Sign Memorandum of Cooperation on Strengthening Youth Exchanges
In recent years, Taiwan and Japan have actively promoted the policy of international education in primary and secondary schools, and encouraged overseas educational exchanges between primary and secondary schools. International exchanges can help young people develop an international outlook, promote mutual understanding of other countries’ history and cultures, and further enhance friendly relations between countries. With the efforts of the Education Division of Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Japan, along with the support of the Ministry of Education, the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association and the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, signed a memorandum of cooperation on strengthening youth exchanges in an online ceremony on February 18. Dr. Lee Yen-Yi, Director General of the Department of International and Cross-strait Education of the Ministry of Education, was invited to the ceremony and also attended the press conference.
The signing of this memorandum of understanding is a testimony to the positive results of youth exchanges between Taiwan and Japan in the past 20 years. In 2002, the Ministry of Education assisted senior secondary schools to set up the Taiwan International Educational Trip Association, and many schools organized groups to travel to Japan, South Korea and other countries for educational visits and exchanges in the twenty years since then. Japan has been the destination that has had the highest number of senior secondary students from Taiwan visiting in groups on such educational trips. Similarly, Taiwan has been the destination of the largest number of senior secondary students in Japan who travelled overseas on an educational visit, and a solid foundation for educational exchange trips has been well established.
The Ministry of Education established the Taiwan International Educational Trips Association 2.0 in 2020 to enhance the mechanisms and range of international exchanges for young people. Participating schools will now include junior high schools and primary schools, and international topics and issues are being integrated into each learning area of the 12-year national education curriculum, in order to strengthen the integration of cross-domain learning and information technology. More in-depth educational travel exchanges and local themes will be developed and integrated into the curriculum, and more resources will be injected, especially for remote and disadvantaged students. This alliance will inject more resources into international education in primary and secondary schools to help to make it more widespread.
The signing of this memorandum of understanding will facilitate more young people in Taiwan and Japan taking part in a wide range of interactions, and cross-border exchanges, including visits after the pandemic.