LETTER: The enviable shape of children's education in Taiwan

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The Independent Online
The enviable shape of children's education in Taiwan

From Mr Wun-Shaing Wayne Chang

Sir: Indeed, culture is the major reason why Taiwanese children do so well scholastically. However, one should notice that the qualifications of a Taiwanese teacher are also expected to be of a higher standard than the rest of the world.

To qualify as teacher in maths, for example, aspirants need first to pass the entrance examination to a teacher's academy, which nowadays is recognised as being comparable to the top universities in Taiwan. Afterwards, they are obliged to learn pedagogic and math subjects to the standard required for math major students at general universities, and finally they spend one or two years of on-site training before they can be a formal teacher. It is, therefore, not surprising to see that teachers in Taiwan have a high social reputation and a knowledge of proper teaching methods with which to enlighten low-ability children.

There is no one education system suitable for the entire world. Taiwanese students, however, lack some expression and creativity when compared to Western children, and the teachers in Taiwan are now trying to improve that.

Yours faithfully,