The Ministry of Education's (MOE) program to recruit certified foreign-language teachers failed to attract enough qualified applicants to teach English in public elementary and secondary schools.
To solve this teacher shortage, the ministry is considering accepting uncertified foreign teachers to teach English in Taiwan, according to Education Minister Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝).
"Our goal to have at least one foreign English teacher in each of the 3,300 elementary and secondary schools has met with some difficulties. We are discussing the possibility of recruiting foreigners with education degrees, but who do not have teaching certificates, to serve as assistant English teachers," Tu said.
Tu made the remarks yesterday during a two-day visit to Matsu to examine the local education system. At a meeting with local education officials and school representatives, elementary school presidents expressed their concern that schools in the area were suffering from a shortage of certified foreign English teachers, despite their active participation in the ministry's teaching program.
Responding to the comments, Tu said that the foreign teacher shortage is a problem shared by almost every elementary and secondary school in Taiwan. As public elementary schools must expand their English-language courses from the fifth grade to the third grade starting this fall, the insufficient number of foreign English teachers could become a serious problem for elementary schools.
"Currently, we have only 22 foreign English teachers recruited through the program, even though we signed service contracts with countries including the UK, Canada and Australia," Tu said. "The ministry is coming up with possible solutions, including recruiting uncertified foreign teachers to assist certified English teachers."
The program for improving the quality of English-language teaching through recruitment of native speakers in elementary and junior high schools was introduced in 2003. Currently, the ministry has signed contracts with Australia, the Canadian Trade Office and the British Council to aid in recruiting teachers.
According to the program's guidelines, prospective language teachers must be under 45, come from an English-speaking country and speak English as their mother tongue. They must also have obtained Teaching English as a Second Language certification (TESL) and possess a four-year degree from an accredited university.
With the a salary ranging from NT$60,000 to NT$90,000 (US$1,800 to US$2,700) a month -- about double the wage of Taiwanese English teachers -- the program costs the government about NT$510 million a year. The teaching contracts last from one to three years.
The program was designed to hire 1,000 certified foreign teachers each year, with the plan to send teachers to remote areas a priority.
‘ASSERTIVE STEPS’: The report says that the US should enable Taiwan to construct asymmetric defense capabilities that would allow it to engage China on its own terms US President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday declassified a report that casts the defense of Taiwan as critical to the Indo-Pacific strategy of checking China’s ascent, Bloomberg reported yesterday. “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” has governed the US’ strategic response to China since Trump approved it in February 2018, Bloomberg reported, citing a statement by US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien. “Beijing is increasingly pressuring Indo-Pacific nations to subordinate their freedom and sovereignty to a ‘common destiny’ envisioned by the Chinese Communist Party [CCP],” O’Brien was cited as saying. The report assumes that China would “take increasingly assertive steps to compel unification
SECRET OUT: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung yesterday accidentally revealed that the infections occurred at the ministry’s Taoyuan General Hospital The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported the fifth COVID-19 case in a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital, where four other medical workers were confirmed to have been infected over the past week. The latest case is a nurse who had tested negative on Tuesday last week, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, told a news conference. However, on Thursday, she developed symptoms, such as nasal congestion and a cough, and a second test yesterday found that she was infected, Chen said. She is the head nurse of a ward where two
PILLARS OF DEMOCRACY: US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft posted online after the virtual meeting that Taiwan should be able to share its successes in global venues President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft yesterday held a virtual meeting, during which Tsai described Taiwan as a “force for good” that deserves a place on the world stage, while Craft reaffirmed Washington’s support for Taiwan’s international participation. The virtual talk was held at about 11am, after Craft’s trip to Taiwan was abruptly canceled. She had been scheduled to meet with Tsai in person at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday morning as part of a three-day visit to Taiwan. On Tuesday, the US Department of State canceled all of its planned trips, citing a need
‘CONTAINED’: The CECC is not considering locking down the hospital where the infections were detected, as their source has been found, Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported one new domestic COVID-19 case, a doctor at a hospital in northern Taiwan where three other medical workers were confirmed to have the disease over the past week. The new case — No. 856 — is a doctor who had treated a COVID-19 patient together with case No. 838, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Case No. 838, confirmed as a locally infected COVID-19 case on Tuesday, was the first case in the hospital cluster, and later infected his partner, who is a nurse at the same