Taiwan is well-known globally for its distinctive economy, culture, and its educational system. The Taiwanese education system has long been considered as one of the best in the Asian region.
It enjoys international recognition as one of the best in the world and is ranked high in the OECD rankings. This article will describe the educational system of Taiwan, focusing on its structure, the teaching system, and the challenges the schools face.
Structure of the Education System
The Taiwanese educational system is organized into four levels of education: early childhood education, primary education, secondary education, and tertiary education. Early childhood education is for young children aged 3 to 6, and is further divided into two levels, kindergarten and elementary school. In kindergarten, the primary objectives of education include providing a safe, supportive, and stimulating learning environment for children to develop physically, intellectually, and socially.
After completing kindergarten, children move on to the elementary school level, where the curriculum begins to develop beyond the basics of early literacy, language, and mathematics. At this stage, the overall goal is to help children think critically and become competent and responsible citizens.
Primary education follows after elementary school, encompassing 6 to 12 year-olds. The purpose of this stage is to introduce knowledge and cultivate the habit of self-learning to prepare students for the next stage.
Secondary school is the next step, which lasts 6 years and prepares students for the university entrance exams. Lastly, students have the opportunity to further their education at the tertiary level, which includes universities, colleges and technical vocational institutes.
The Taiwanese educational system is known for its rigorous approach to teaching and learning. In kindergartens and elementary schools, teachers focus heavily on moral education, which includes forming good habits, respecting the elderly, and cultivating the right etiquette. The main goal is to help children develop into independent, responsible, and tolerant adults.
In primary schools and secondary schools, the main emphasis is on academic learning, with the focus on preparing students for college entrance exams. Teachers have a very structured approach to their teaching style and assign a lot of work to their students, often not allowing time for activities such as sports or music classes.
To further maintain discipline, some schools have adopted the concept of teacher ranking, which grades teachers based on their performance and measures the amount of knowledge they impart to the students.
Challenges Faced by the Taiwanese Education System
One of the major challenges faced by the Taiwanese education system is its emphasis on rote learning and memorization. This approach is not conducive to encouraging critical thinking and creativity amongst students, which affects the overall quality of education. In addition, increasing competition for admission to universities and technical vocational schools is also a major concern.
And finally, an ever-intensifying localization movement is causing more schools to focus more heavily on Chinese traditions and values as part of their curriculum, as well as lessening the importance of English language education.
Taiwan’s education system is recognized worldwide as one of the best in the region, although it has its fair share of challenges. Its commitment to rigorous teaching and learning has helped the country achieve impressive results in international rankings.
Moving forward, the Taiwanese education system will need to focus more on fostering critical thinking, creativity, and global citizenship into its students.