A sociology professor yesterday warned that the plummeting population of school-age children will vastly impact the nation's national education system in the near future, causing a large number of teachers to become unemployed and an unbalanced distribution of educational resources.
\nJames Hsueh (薛承泰), a sociology professor at the National Taiwan University, yesterday sounded the warning in a speech delivered at a conference held by the Ministry of Education to discuss how to deal with the impact of the decreasing population of school-age children on the education system.
\nHsueh said that a decreasing birthrate has become a more conspicuous trend in Taiwan and said that problems caused by the "baby bust" have gradually emerged in the education system.
\nAccording to his survey, Hsueh said, students who were born in 1985 and in 1986 are going to enroll in colleges this fall. However, the numbers of freshmen will represent a decrease of 18,000 compared with the numbers last fall, because of a decline in births that year.
\nMeanwhile, the number of schoolchildren who enrolled last fall showcased a more serious problem, Hsueh said.
\n"The numbers of the new elementary school students last fall was the lowest in the past four decades, or fewer than 300,000 students nationwide," Hsueh said.
\nHe pointed out that the colleges and universities that mushroomed in the higher education market over the past decade would face closure and consequently many professors would lose their jobs because of the diminishing enrollment figures. The same nightmare will happen to teachers at primary and secondary schools, who will have huge difficulties finding a teaching position in the near future, Hsueh said.
\n"The age of the population explosion is over in Taiwan," Hsueh said.
\n"In terms of rate, Taiwan has surpassed many Western countries both in falling birth rates and the growing number of senior citizens," he said.
\nHe said that it will not be a temporary phenomenon but would become even worse. Based on his estimation, by 2020 the number of children at school will be only half it is now, or a mere 150,000.
\nOn the other hand, because of increasingly competitive pressure at school, parents will definitely invest more and more money in their single child's education, Hsueh said.
\n"But judging from the educational system and the economical structure, the low birth rate would lead to a situation where parents who are of inferior economic capability would not be able to afford expensive tuition and educational resources," he said.
\nHsueh said that the rich will thus have more opportunities to succeed while the poor could not, especially as the poverty gap is widening in Taiwan.
\n"The ministry neglected to acknowledge the vast change in Taiwan's population structure when implementing educational reform," Hsueh said.
\n"The demographic data is supposed to be an important reference in the next stage of educational reform," he said.
\nMinister of Education Huang Jong-tsun (
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37
ARMS RACE: Two DPP lawmakers said that China’s development model differed from Taiwan’s, as it aims to become a global hegemon, while Taiwan seeks to protect itself Taiwanese national defense experts are split on how Taiwan should respond to the ever-growing budget of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with some advocating for Taiwan to increase defense spending, while others say that little can be done. The Legislative Yuan approved NT$358 billion (US$12.1 billion) for national defense spending across fiscal 2020, a 3.47 percent increase compared with last year, while China’s military budget this year is NT$5.4 trillion, more than 15 times that of Taiwan. Regardless of whether the government adopts a zero-based budgeting method for national defense spending — in which all expenses are justified and approved each