The Executive Yuan yesterday approved a proposal that would introduce stricter regulations for teaching language to children under the age of six in cram schools.
If the proposed amendment to the Supplementary Education Act (補習及教育進修法) is passed by the legislature, the Ministry of Education will draw up the required bylaws under Article 16 of the act, said Hsiung Tsung-yeh (熊宗樺), secretary-general of the ministry’s Department of Lifelong Education.
According to the proposed amendment, courses offered by cram schools to children younger than six should be restricted to teaching body movements and the development of artistic talents. These schools would also be required to obtain approval from local governments’ education authorities before they can start classes.
Hsiung said the proposed amendment aims to encourage sound mental development as stipulated in the Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act (兒童及少年福利與權益保障法).
Cram schools that teach children English can continue offering these courses as long as it is not taught in a way that would require them to learn how to write or memorize words, Hsiung said.
Schools should offer a lively environment where children can learn English in a natural way without pressure, he added.
Cram schools that offer classes on languages, mathematics, abacus, mental arithmetic or other courses found in violation of the article would be fined up to NT$500,000 and may be repeatedly fined until the problem is addressed.