Scheme to limit glut of schools may spell doom for education
The China Post news staffTaiwan's educational institutions face many problems. Apart from uncertainty regarding the 12-year national education program due to come into effect next year, the government is desperately in need of an exit strategy for many of the country's ailing private schools.
September 27, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
The Education Ministry has already identified 29 private high schools and colleges as prime candidates for closure because of poor management and low enrolment numbers.
One high school in Tainan is already slated to be shuttered after its last 23 students graduate next summer. The education authorities have forbidden it to admit new students.
Low enrolment stems from a mix of social and political problems. Low birth rates mean that the student population has shrunk, while at the same time, education reforms aimed at reducing pressure on students have led to an increase in the number of schools, particularly colleges and universities.
It is not just private schools which face imminent closures because of a lack of students. Government-run schools on all levels — from primary to tertiary — also face the same problem.
Many government-run schools in remote areas have been merged or closed. But the closure or integration of a government-run school is a less complicated procedure compared to that for private schools.
Teachers at government-run schools do not have to worry about losing their jobs; relocating to a less ideal area may be their only concern. The handling of school property — which belongs to the government — does not cause too much of a problem.
But for private schools, these are huge issues. Where will all the teachers go when their schools close? There are already thousands of qualified teachers out there — those so-called “migrant teachers” — who have been unable to land a teaching job after completing their teaching program at university.