Mon, Sep 03, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Taipei returns to first place in national education poll

By Rachel Lin  /  Staff reporter

From left, Kinmen County Bureau of Education Director Lee Wen-liang, Taichung Education Bureau Director-General Peng Fu-yuan and Taipei Department of Education Director Tseng Tsan-chin attend a news conference in Taipei yesterday announcing the results of a survey comparing education in different municipalities.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

Taipei offers the best elementary and junior-high school education in the nation, followed by Taichung, New Taipei City and Taoyuan, a survey published yesterday by Chinese-language magazine Parenting (親子天下) said.

The survey also found that only 50 percent of teachers and principals said they are ready for the new curriculum guidelines that are to be implemented next year, the magazine said.

Considering only one year is left before elementary and junior-high schools will be teaching the new curricula, they must step up their preparation efforts, CommonWealth Education Media and Publishing Co managing editor Chen Ya-huei (陳雅慧) said.

The magazine has been conducting the survey every two years since 2010. This year’s poll was based on 11,874 valid responses collected from parents, principals and local governments over more than half a year.

Questions in the survey cover 46 areas of education, from diversity and innovation to teaching, reading and education policies.

Taipei has returned to the top of the ranking this year, achieving the best scores in teaching, reading, diversity and innovation.

In the 2016 survey, the city was ranked fourth, with the fourth-lowest score for education policy, due to discord between Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and many principals.

This year, the survey found that 82 percent of principals in Taipei approved of Ko’s education policies.

The city is promoting international and bilingual education, and plans to spend NT$100 million (US$3.25 million) to send teachers and students abroad on academic exchanges next year, Taipei Department of Education Commissioner Tseng Tsan-chin (曾燦金) said.

The city has also set aside NT$1.6 billion to build smart classrooms and upgrade Internet infrastructure at more than 200 schools, he said.

The municipality aims to provide all students with free on-site Internet access to ensure that all children can engage in independent learning, regardless of their family’s wealth.

Taichung, which headed the list two years ago, fell to second place after losing three points in this year’s survey.

It received the highest grade from teachers and principals for reducing their administrative workload.

New Taipei City fell from second to third place, but received favorable scores for its readiness for the new curricula.

Kaohsiung did not make the top 10 and received a low average grade for policymaking.

Kaohsiung Teachers’ Union president and Shengli Elementary School teacher Tung Shu-you (董書攸) said that her school does not have a gymnasium, even though the air in the area is seriously polluted, with the concentration of PM2.5 — fine particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers or smaller — exceeding safe levels more than a quarter of the year.

Last year, she joined a protest in front of the school to demand a sports hall, she said.

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