To ensure students’ right to education and parents’ right of choice, the Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday announced new regulations on experimental education outside of established educational facilities.
The ministry said that experimental education provided yet another choice for students and parents and it would be available for an individual, a group or a facility, adding that the experimental education program may be applied for twice a year, on May 31 and Nov. 30.
According to the Measures on Incremental Stages of Implementing Experimental Educational Methods for Secondary Education (高級中等教育階段辦理非學校型態實驗教育辦法), groups applying for the program should have no less than three students and no more than 30, and for facilities or organizations applying for the program, one class may not exceed 25 students and the total may not exceed 125.
The measure also states that student to teacher ratios in facilities applying for the program should not exceed 10:1, nor should the facility restrict students from the facility based on cognitive aptitude tests or school test scores.
The individual, group or facility applying to the program should provide a report on the students’ learning during the school year, and local governments should also establish teams to visit those who have applied for the program during the school year, the ministry said.
The ministry held meetings with local government officials in 2011 to unify regulations for non-educational facilities’ experimental education, as well as ensuring parents more choice in educating their children.
The ministry said that since the announcement in 2011, the number of applicants had grown annually, with this year’s applicants totaling 2,000.
The increase in interest in the program shows that an increasing number of students and parents are choosing the program over traditional educational facilities, the ministry said, adding that the ministry would continue to protect and guarantee the rights of students in the program.