The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines on Thursday hosted a send-off event for the first group of English-language teachers from the country who were recruited for a Ministry of Education-initiated program to advance bilingual education in Taiwan.
The 14 teachers and three teaching assistants are part of the Taiwan Foreign English Teacher Program, which aims to help find English-language instructors for Taiwan’s public elementary and junior-high schools, the office said.
Seventy-seven teachers and 11 teaching assistants from the Philippines have been hired to teach in Taiwan in the coming school year, office data showed.
Among the first group is 57-year-old Pilipinas Arroyo, who taught at university and high-school level for 25 years in the Philippines, as well as 11 years at a university in Libya.
Arroyo told the Central News Agency that when the opportunity to teach in Taiwan arose, she applied because she had a good impression of the nation when she visited in 2019.
“It’s a combination of the old and new culture, that’s one thing I like about it. Very modern, but you are still able to preserve the old traditions, the old look of what you have,” Arroyo said.
Another teacher, Rufina Guzman Defeo, said she wants to use her passion for teaching to help Taiwan achieve its goal of becoming a bilingual nation by 2030.
Taiwan’s bilingual policy aims to bolster the English-language skills of Taiwanese, the office said.
Pines Testa — another member of the group headed to Taiwan — applied not only because of the competitive salary and benefits, but also because the program gives her the opportunity to shape the lives of foreign students through teaching, the office cited the teacher boasting seven years of experience as saying.
Representative to the Philippines Michael Hsu (徐佩勇) said in a speech at the event that the program, launched in 2004, aims to employ English-language teachers and teaching assistants to help Taiwanese students become interested in the language and seize opportunities that will empower them.
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