A recent poll by the Grassroots Influence Foundation has highlighted a worrying trend in which the nation’s schools are unable to provide the kind of education parents want for their children, said Yang Shih-hsien (楊士賢), the principal of Jiankang Elementary School in Taipei.
The foundation polled parents of children in kindergarten, elementary and junior-high schools between March 18 and April 13, to find out if their children went to cram schools and for what.
More than 70 percent of respondents said their children went to cram schools, with 67 percent sending elementary-school youngsters and 25 percent kindergarteners, with most seeking extra English tuition.
That so many parents want their children to receive extra English tuition shows that they are worried schools are not doing enough to satisfy the perceived demands of society, Yang said.
Elementary and junior-high schools on average only teach two to three sessions of English courses per week, Yang said.
“What are our schools doing?” Yang asked.
Schools could be “creative” in attempting to circumvent regulations, such as having physical education teachers use English during their classes, since all prospective teachers are supposed to pass additional English proficiency tests, Yang said.
However, National Cheng Chi University assistant professor Hsu Lien-en (徐聯恩) said experts’ opinions should weigh more than the opinions of parents on the issue.
There are different motives for “cramming” at different levels of education, Hsu said, adding that junior-high schoolers tend to study for the high-school entrance examinations, elementary students might be studing a secondary topic and kindergarteners are usually sent to cram schools to enrich their life experiences, Hsu said.
The poll had 1,174 valid responses, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, and a confidence rating of 95 percent.
Individual tourists who arrive in Taiwan from tomorrow are eligible to receive limited-edition lucky bags to mark the Lantern Festival, Tourism Administration officials said yesterday. The Lantern Festival-themed lucky bags each contain a Year of the Dragon red envelope, a mini lantern, a NT$300 coupon for an amusement park ticket and a NT$500 Taiwan PASS coupon, the officials said. To get a lucky bag, visitors must present a passport or residence certificate and proof of their date of entry at a tourism center at either terminal at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) or Kaohsiung International Airport, they said. The
TAKE PRECAUTIONS: Never hike alone and prepare food, water and appropriate equipment for Taiwan’s mountains, particularly in the winter, officials said Two mountain hikers were rescued yesterday, a day after a body was airlifted out of Yushan National Park, one of several deaths related to mountaineering or hiking in the past two weeks, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. A Nantou County mountain rescue team called for a helicopter while responding to a call yesterday morning. They said a woman surnamed Chen (陳), 31, and a man surnamed Lin (林), 32, got lost in the mountains around the Batongguan Historic Trail (八通關古道), while traveling west toward Dongpu Township (東埔). They were directed to a nearby alpine meadow, where the helicopter landed with four
‘CORRECT CALL’: The navy said the captain was right to send crew out to fix an issue with a buoy, and that the buckles connecting two of them to the safety line came loose Equipment and environmental reasons, not human error, were to blame for the loss of three submariners on Dec. 21 last year, the navy said yesterday. The navy would not punish any of the Hai Hu’s (海虎) crew after an investigation determined that the captain was correct in sending crew to retrieve a safety buoy, it said in a news release. Three crew members — a master chief petty officer surnamed Lin (林) and two petty officers surnamed Yen (顏) and Chang (張) — are still unaccounted for after being swept from the submarine’s deck by a wave while trying to retrieve the
A student at a Taichung high school who committed suicide in February last year was bullied by school officials, the school said on Saturday, reversing its previous findings after the student’s father asked that the case be reinvestigated. In a statement, Feng Yuan Senior High School said its latest investigation found that four staff members — the director of student affairs, the chief military instructor and two safety instructors — bullied the student, who killed himself on Feb. 18 last year. That contradicted its previous conclusions that the staff’s actions had not amounted to bullying. The student’s father said his son was subjected