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Northern Taiwan races ahead of the pack in results for English listening examinations

Results for the national High School English Listening Comprehension Test (高中英聽) came out Thursday, showing high-school students in Northern Taiwan at the head of the pack.

Taiwan high-school students took the English listening comprehension exam Oct. 20. Nationwide, about 20 percent of test-takers earned an A — the top score — while about 45 percent earned a B.

Test-takers in Northern Taiwan picked up the most scores in the A range, followed by students in Central, Southern, Eastern Taiwan and the outlying islands, in that order. Students in the north earned two times the A scores of Eastern Taiwan, according to the College Entrance Examination Center (大學入學考試中心).

The score distribution underscores a disparity of education resources between Taiwan's rural and urban regions, said Wu Fu-pin (吳福濱), president of the National Alliance of Parents Organization (全國家長團體聯盟).

Wu called on the government to step up investment in instruction and equipment, so that students in rural Taiwan are not hobbled at the starting line of their education.

Ministry of Education (MOE) Deputy Minister Chen Der-hwa (陳德華) said Thursday that all public-school classrooms are technically equipped to provide instruction in English listening comprehension. But the MOE is developing measures to close disparities in teacher quality, such as extending the service limit for public-school instructors.

Regional score differences are not more pronounced specifically for English listening comprehension, said President Mu Tzung-tsann (牟宗燦) of the College Entrance Examination Center.

Mu said that the regional score distribution for English listening cleaves closely to that of the general English subject test on the General Scholastic Ability Test (大學學科能力測驗) for high school students.

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