Tue, May 05, 2015 - Page 4 News List

Extended education requires teachers, funding: principal

Staff writer, with CNA

The number of senior-high school teachers would have to increase by at least 13.6 percent when the nation’s compulsory education system is extended from nine to 12 years, Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School principal Chen Wei-hung (陳偉泓) said.

The goal of the 12-year compulsory education system is to create flexible learning styles that allow students to take more elective classes according to their personal needs and interests, said Chen, principal of one of the nation’s most prestigious senior-high schools.

The idea is to increase the proportion of elective course credits for senior-high students, Chen said at a recent conference in Taipei that was held to discuss issues related to the 12-year compulsory education system.

To that end, schools would need more teachers and would have to build more classrooms, he said.

For example, at least 54 classrooms would be needed for a school with class sizes of 36 students, he said. The number of teachers would need to be increased by 13.6 percent, while an annual subsidy of NT$3.82 million (US$124,123) for the school would be needed, he said.

“It would be hard to achieve the goal of the 12-year compulsory education system if such basic requirements cannot be met,” he said.

National Taiwan University professor Chen Jwu-ting (陳竹亭) said at the conference that the key to a successful 12-year compulsory education system lies in a personalized curriculum for each student.

“School authorities should not put all students through the same subjects,” he said.

Teachers should have the ability to develop curricula, just like a tour guide plans journeys, he said, adding that school curricula should not be just exam-oriented.

The Ministry of Education has decided the guidelines for the new curriculum under the 12-year compulsory education system, which is to be implemented in 2018.

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