Mon, Jun 09, 2014 - Page 11 News List

Declining average salaries causing birthrate in Greater Kaohsiung to drop
薪資倒退影響 高雄市出生率低落

Children wearing protective eyewear observe the transit of Venus across the Sun in Greater Kaohsiung on June 6, 2012.
小朋友二0一二年六月六日於高雄市戴護目鏡參與金星凌日天文觀測活動。

Photo: Chang Chung-yi, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者張忠義

The average salaries of workers in Taiwan are back where they were 16 years ago, which is taking a toll on people’s desire to have children. Over the past 20 years, the annual number of births in Greater Kaohsiung has gone from a high of 37,932 to a low of 18,684. This perceivable difference of nearly 20,000 babies a year, signaling an aging population, is becoming more apparent as schools continuously cut classes, hitting surplus teachers the hardest.

The Greater Kaohsiung Education Bureau says that demographic changes have been taken into account for estimates of how many elementary school classes there will be over the next five years. The worst year will be the 2017 academic year, with an accumulated reduction of 564 classes. After that the number of classes for the 2019 academic year being cut will gradually go down to 497. Strategies to deal with this issue are currently being formulated, the bureau says.

There are 210 fewer elementary school classes this year for the 2014 academic year. The school with the largest reduction in classes only has four classes left. As many as 258 teachers are retiring in August, however, leaving a surplus of 22 elementary school teachers. Fifty-six junior high school classes will be cut. The school with the biggest reductions will be cutting eight classes. After 132 junior high teachers retire in August, there will only be a surplus of four teachers.

Statistical data from the Ministry of the Interior show that there were 36,907 births in Kaohsiung in 1994. The following year that number increased to 37,932. The first time that births dropped below 30,000 to 29,068 was in 2001. Births in 2010 dropped below 20,000 to 18,684 and then went back up above 20,000 the following year.

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

1. surplus adj.

多餘的;過剩的 (duo1 yu2 de5; guo4 sheng4 de5)

例: The surplus grain was placed in storage for the winter.

(過剩穀物被儲存起來過冬。)

2. demographic adj.

人口統計學的 (ren2 kou3 tong3 ji4 xue2 de5)

例: The demographic makeup of the school shows that ethnic minorities have become the majority.

(這所學校的人口統計顯示原來的少數族群已成為多數。)

3. formulate v.

規劃;想出 (gui1 hua4; xiang3 chu1)

例: Let’s formulate a plan to tackle this problem.

(我們來規劃一下如何應付這個問題吧。)


This means that in nearly two decades the highest number of births was in 1995 with 37,932, while the lowest number of births occurred in 2010 with only 18,684 — a difference of 19,248 people.

It is also interesting to note that when analyzing births from a Chinese zodiac perspective, Taiwanese truly love having children in the Year of the Dragon — 30,876 children were born during the Year of the Tiger in 1998, 32,228 during the Year of the Rabbit in 1999, while the figure rose sharply to 35,427 in 2000 during the Year of the Dragon.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

台灣勞工薪資倒退十六年,連帶影響生兒育女的意願,高雄市二十年來的出生數,從最多的三萬七千九百三十二人,降到最少的一萬八千六百八十四人,落差近兩萬人,引發少子女化的學校減班越趨惡化現象,造成超額教師的衝擊。

教育局表示,已針對人口變化,推估未來五年的國小班級數發現,累計到一○六學年度的減班數將多達五百六十四班,為最嚴重的一年,之後再逐漸回升到一○八學年度的四百九十七班,將研擬因應策略。

不過,就一0三學年度來說,今年小學少二百一十班,減最多的學校才四個班,但因八月退休教師多達二百五十八人,超額二十二人;國中少五十六班,減最多的學校為八個班,八月退休教師一百三十二人,僅超額四人。

內政部統計資料顯示,高雄八十三年出生數三萬六千九百○七人,隔年增加到三萬七千九百三十二人,但九十年首度跌破三萬,為兩萬九千○六十八人,九十九年更跌破兩萬人,只剩一萬八千六百八十四人,隔年回升到兩萬以上。

因此近二十年來,出生數最多的是一九九五年,有三萬七千九百三十二人,最少的是九十九年,僅一萬八千六百八十四人,落差一萬九千二百四十八人。

有趣的是,從生肖分析,台灣人果然愛生龍子龍女,因八十七年虎年為三萬八百七十六人,八十八年兔年升至三萬兩千兩百二十八人,八十九年龍年增加到三萬五千四百二十七人。

(自由時報記者洪定宏)

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