Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Act aims to improve home education quality

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The Legislative Yuan yesterday approved amendments to the Family Education Act (家庭教育法) that require at least half of the staff at regional home-education centers to be professional home-education personnel or social workers.

The centers, which are overseen by city or county governments, must ensure that the staff ratio is achieved within three years of ratification, the act stipulates.

In addition, all employees whose work involves home education, including home-education center personnel and certified school teachers, are required to attend classes on home education for a certain number of hours each year, it says.

City and county governments must create a family consultation committee, which is to be headed by the mayor or commissioner, it says.

The committee’s responsibilities are to include coordinating efforts between agencies to record the number of birth and parents with newborns; compile marital and divorce data; help with the registration of first graders; and submit the information to medical facilities, elementary schools and household registration offices, it says.

When contacted by social workers about families needing home education, the centers must provide all necessary resources or refer the case to the appropriate services, it says.

As ways of receiving information are changing, the centers are to create content customized for mass media, the Internet, mobile devices and other new technologies to extend the reach of material on home education and available services, the amendments say.

The Ministry of Education and local authorities should also encourage higher education institutions to offer courses on home education to help the public gain a better understanding about how to maintain good relationships with family members, they say.

Central and local authorities should publish incentives to encourage agencies, educational institutions, civic groups and legal entities to provide home education, the amendments says.

The amendments, which further enhance the legal basis for the prevention aspect of home education, are meant to meet public expectations for helping families hit by domestic problems, said the ministry, which drafted the proposals.

The “social security network” would improve with a gradual increase in home-education workers in agencies overseeing police, social work, household registration, health and civil affairs, thereby ensuring that the demand for professional personnel is met, it said.

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