25% of disadvantaged students can't complete English alphabet: CWLF
By Joy Lee, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- A finding from the Child Welfare League Foundation (CWLF) that 25 percent of disadvantaged students cannot write all 26 letters of the English alphabet indicates a gap in the allocation of education resources, the group said yesterday.
January 22, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
According to statistics from the CWLF, advantaged students living in urban areas have 16 times the amount of educational resources that disadvantaged students from remote regions have.
The CWLF said that, according to their findings, over 90 percent of advantaged students have at least three computers at home while nearly 60 percent of disadvantaged students do not have computers or Internet services at home.
The CWLF's Chief Executive Chen Li-ju (陳麗如) said the statistics show that disadvantaged students living in the countryside do not have sufficient resources and opportunities for education.
“We are worried that these disadvantaged students do not have the chance to change their lives through the education system,” Chen said.
The statistics came from a survey conducted on 1,330 fifth- and sixth-graders in 22 counties and cities from Sept. 24 to Oct. 12 in 2012.
According to the CWLF statistics, over 50 percent of students living in cities go to after-school classes twice a week on average. However, nearly 70 percent of disadvantaged students living in the countryside do not go to any after-school classes.
The CWLF's statistics also showed that 95 percent of disadvantaged students living in the countryside do not have access to English magazines.
Chen said “the 12-year compulsory education that will be launched next year would have negative effects on disadvantaged students because these students do not have sufficient educational resources or enough financial support to learn the different skills required to compete with other students.”
A teacher from an elementary school located in the countryside said that insufficient educative resources make many disadvantaged students think there is no hope for them to pursuit higher education in the future. Given this, they choose to work instead of pursuing further study.
According to the CWLF's statistics, 70 percent of disadvantaged students worry that they might fall behind in junior high school and only 35 percent of them think they can go to colleges.
The CWLF's statistics showed that 55 percent of teachers from schools located in the countryside said they often have to help their students pay for their tuition fees.
An elementary teacher said most parents from the countryside do not understand what 12-year compulsory education is. They only worry about whether they will have enough money to pay for their children's tuition.