Children who have high IQs or display exceptional talent in artistic, creative or physical areas, may be allowed to enter elementary school at the age of five rather than six, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said over the weekend.
At present, elementary schools in some of the nation’s cities and counties accept gifted children at the age of five, while those in other cities and counties do not, insisting that children must reach the age of six before they can be admitted, officials from the ministry’s Special Education Unit said.
The ministry has therefore decided to integrate two existing educational laws — an act governing school entry and study periods for gifted students and an act governing special education — and allow gifted students to legally enroll in elementary school at a younger age, the officials said.
Parents of gifted children can contact the special education committee in their respective cities and counties to obtain applications for early enrolment, the officials said.
The integrated act, which is expected to be amended by next month or April, will retain a stipulation that gifted students are only allowed to skip grades once in elementary school and once in junior high school, the officials said.
The ministry maintains a limit on the number of times gifted students can jump grades over concerns that if they move up too fast in school they may have difficulty assimilating into their classes.
The revised act will also allow physically challenged students to attend school for an additional two years, the officials said.