Sat, Apr 29, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Ministry budgets NT$2.1bn for technology classrooms

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Education plans to allocate NT$2.1 billion (US$6.9 million) to establish more than 1,000 “technology classrooms” at elementary and junior-high schools nationwide.

“With the rapid advancements in technology, people nowadays are expected to have technological skills,” Deputy Minister of Education Lin Teng-chiao (林騰蛟) said on Thursday.

Citing the US, Britain, Australia and New Zealand as examples, Lin said that these governments have incorporated technology-related subjects into their curricula, which focus on cultivating students’ abilities to “do, use and think.”

The ministry has added two new subjects — information technology and living technology — in the 12-year national education system, which is to take effect next year, he said.

A draft bill on the establishment of the technology classrooms stipulates that junior-high schools with 24 classes should have one living technology classroom, with a classroom being added for every 25 classes.

An estimate by the ministry shows that 1,385 living technology classrooms would be built at junior-high schools nationwide.

The computer classrooms at elementary and junior-high schools are to be renamed “information technology classrooms,” with 75 and 204 such classrooms to be built at elementary and junior-high schools respectively.

Asked how the classrooms will be different from existing computer classrooms, Lin said that the new classrooms will be equipped with manual, electronic and measuring devices so that students can solve problems through hands-on tasks.

The budget for the classrooms is to be allocated in several stages from next year to 2021, with NT$1.1 billion earmarked for the first year, he said.

Department of Teacher and Art Education Director Chang Ming-wen (張明文) said that a teachers’ survey conducted by the ministry found that schools have sufficient teaching staff for the new courses.

The survey showed that 1,352 teachers are willing to undergo training to qualify for teaching living technology, while 716 teachers said they would train to become information technology teachers, which should be enough to meet the demand for instructors, he said.

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