Tue, Jan 04, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Amendment may allow foreigners to work in schools

STAFF WRITER

Foreigners could play a bigger role in the nation's education system, as legislators proposed an amendment yesterday that would allow foreigners to serve as private high school principals and university presidents.

The Legislative Yuan's Education and Culture Committee (教育及文化委員會) yesterday proposed an amendment to Article 78 of the Private School Law (私立學校法), which stipulates that only Taiwanese citizens can serve as the heads of private high schools or universities funded by foreigners.

The amendment bill has been stalled in the Legislative Yuan for nearly two years. In January 2003 the Ministry of Education sent the bill for review in the Legislative Yuan.

The original purpose, education officials said, was to relax restrictions on foreign teachers' participation in the nation's education system after Taiwan entered the WTO in 2001.

Yet education officials yesterday expressed reservations about the impact once the bill is ratified.

"We totally agree with the principle behind the amendment. But the bill must wait until after we assess its influence on domestic education services," an official said during the committee meeting yesterday.

Only three legislators attended the committee meeting yesterday -- Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chang Hua-kuan (張花冠), People First Party Legislator Lee Yung-ping (李永萍) and Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Cheng Cheng-lung (程振隆).

The bill was put off again since convening a committee meeting requires the attendance of at least seven legislators.

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