Six out of 10 public-school teachers want to quit their jobs, according to Lee Tao (李濤), chairman of the Taiwan Cultural and Educational Foundation, a charitable organization affiliated with local TV station TVBS.
Lee, a former talk-show host on TVBS, made the remarks at the National Education Conference of Bureau Chiefs on Thursday.
Lee said that six out of 10 teachers in public schools want to quit their jobs, and the central government’s educational authorities had been making policy decisions that were “shot to pieces” by critics as soon as they were implemented.
Many conference-goers agreed, including the local government education bureau chiefs, some of whom also accused the central government of ineffective policies and meddlesome direction when approached for comment.
Taipei City Government Department of Education Commissioner Tang Chih-min (湯志民) said Lee’s comments “reflected most of the known facts.”
Tang said that although between 70 and 80 percent of his teachers were still dedicated to their work, many factors militate against quality public education.
Parents are too eager to impose their old-fashioned views about education on teachers, Tang said.
“Modern education creates successful learning by encouraging students to discover their potential and affirming their abilities,” Tang said.
Another problem was the digitization of education administration, Tang said. Instead of reducing busy work, the high speed of computer-generated forms merely increased the amount of paperwork that teachers now struggle to deal with, Tang said.
Taichung City Government Bureau of Education Director-General Yan Ching-hsiang (顏慶祥) said teachers face too many distractions and too much meddling to effectively perform their jobs.
Yan criticized the Ministry of Education’s Unified Inspections Program, implemented this year, saying it mandated unnecessary inspections and ratings that interfere with teaching.
“Trust is the core component of education,” Yan said, calling on the central government to reduce or streamline its inspections and ratings.
Non-educational central government authorities like the departments of health and welfare, environmental protection and transportation also burdened his schools by involving educators with public awareness campaigns, Yang said.
“Quantitative methods cannot gauge the quality of education alone,” Tainan City Government Bureau of Education Director-General Chen Hsiu-ping (陳修平) said.
Chen said she had told Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) in February that he should reduce inspections, ratings and public-awareness raising.
National Federation of Teachers’ Unions deputy secretary-general Luo De-shui (羅德水) said that Lee’s criticism was not backed by any statistical evidence.
However, Luo said that teacher-parent relationship had been “tense” in recent years, and that the field of education had become “hostile to teachers.”
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