Since the government of the Republic of China moved to Taiwan in 1949, the development history of the indigenous peoples education is divided into 4 periods by the government. These 4 periods are outlined in the explanations as follows:
The Period of Indigenous Peoples in the Society on the Plains
The Period of Indigenous Peoples in the Society on the Plains is the period from the early restoration of the Republic of China until 1962. To achieve equality of indigenous peoples education, the primary indigenous educational institutions of the Japanese colonial period were changed into primary schools, where students could receive the same subsidies as students in Mongolia, Tibet and other frontiers. In 1949, the 3-Year Project of Taiwan Provincial Government, the Education Administration Improvement on Indigenous Peoples Education Facilities in Remote and Isolated Mountain Areas was established. In 1951, the Implementation Program of Mountain Indigenous Education Improvement was announced and implemented. In 1952, the Regulations of Strengthening Mountain Indigenous Education Administration Facilities of all Counties was announced and implemented. The aforementioned regulations, programs, and projects have made progress in the following aspects of the mountain indigenous education: strengthening the administrative procedures, taking good care of students, and providing sufficient teachers and facilities.
The Period of Integration into Society
The Period of Integration into Society, from 1963 to 1987, aimed at encouraging indigenous peoples to be integrated into society, by measures such as: transforming indigenous peoples to integrate into the society on the plains, continuing the spirit of protecting and supporting indigenous peoples, strengthening national consciousness and the promotion of Chinese language, and passing on traditional techniques and arts. In 1963, the Improvement Program of Administrative Affairs in Mountain Areas was established. In 1980, the Taiwan Provincial Government Regulations on Strengthening Elementary School Education of Indigenous Townships was announced. Both of the aforementioned programs and regulations were expected to: encourage teachers working in mountain areas, enable students in mountain areas to obtain subsidies for books and stationary, provide students who lived in school dormitories with free dormitories and subsidies for their meals, and increase classes and branches of schools in mountain areas.
The Period of Open Development
The Period of Open Development is the period from 1988 to 2000. In 1988, the Ministry of Education established the Indigenous Peoples Education Committee in order to achieve the goals of helping indigenous peoples to adapt to modern life, while maintaining their traditional cultures. In 1993, the 5-Year Project of Indigenous Peoples Education Development and Improvement was set up. In 1998, the 5-Year Project at 2nd Session of Indigenous Peoples Education Development and Improvement was continuously promulgated, and combined into the Education Reform Implementation Action Program, which carried out related affairs to execute the designated budgeting of indigenous peoples education. In the same year, 1988, the President declared the Education Act for Indigenous Peoples, to establish the judicial foundation for indigenous peoples education.
The Period of Major Developments
The Period of Major Developments is from 2001 till today. In 2000, the affairs of the Taiwan Provincial Government, the Education Administration were transferred to the Ministry of Education to operate directly. The Ministry of Education has continuously promoted the Program of Strengthening Indigenous Students’ Education in the Education Reform Action Program. In 2003, the National Education Development Meeting was held, and the future goal was set: respect the identity of indigenous people, and develop indigenous peoples education. The 5-Year Medium Project for Independent Cases of Indigenous Peoples Education Development (2006-2010) was reviewed and established, as the main core of promoting indigenous peoples education. In 2011, the Ministry of Education and the Council of Indigenous Peoples (abbreviated as CIP) established and announced both the White Papers of Educational Policy for Indigenous People, and the 5-Year Medium Project for Independent Cases of Indigenous Peoples Education Development (2011-2015). During 2013-2014, certain parts of the latter were revised in order to respond to the influences that the government re-organization, the implementation of the 12-Year Basic Education, and the revision of the Education Act for Indigenous Peoples had made to the development of indigenous peoples education. In 2014, the 4-Year Project of Indigenous Peoples Higher Education Talented Individuals Cultivation was announced and then combined into the 5-Year Medium Project Indigenous Peoples Education Development (2016-2020), which was announced together by the Ministry of Education and the CIP in 2015. In 2017, certain revisions of the latter were carried out in order to respond to the President’s policy of indigenous peoples education. Thus, it is hoped to strengthen indigenous students’ learning competitiveness at all education levels, and consequently to demonstrate the diverse potentials possessed by indigenous students, and to cultivate various talented indigenous students.
Current Important Policy Development
I. The Establishment of Indigenous Peoples Education Research Centers:
On August 10, 2017, the Indigenous Education Research Center of the National Academy for Educational Research was established with the intention of achieving two purposes: fulfilling the aforementioned Presidential policy of indigenous peoples education, and supporting the promotional affairs of indigenous peoples education at all education levels. On May 24, 2018, the legislative procedures of the Indigenous Education Research Center were finalized, and were officially included in the contents of organization, so as to address the identity of indigenous peoples education.
II. The Revision of Related Regulations:
In October 2016, the Education Act for Indigenous Peoples and its enforcement rules, were revised in response to the expectations from all sectors of society. The revision law was proposed at the end of 2017. Then, due to various opinions of different sectors during the revision process; and after dozens of meetings, organizations of opinions from experts, public hearings, forums, related authorities, city or county governments, which were contained in the reference to the revision in the judicial affairs, finally on February 26, 2019, the revision law was reported to the Executive Yuan to be reviewed. The major points of the revisions are as follows: expanding the target student range of indigenous peoples education, strengthening the cooperation between authorities, central and local government, strengthening the participation of indigenous people, establishing indigenous people education courses, providing sufficient teachers for indigenous people education, and enhancing teacher training quality. Consequently, it is expected to perfect the comprehensive education environment for indigenous peoples, and ensure their rights to education.
III. The Promotion of Colleges and Universities Establishing Indigenous Student Resource Centers:
Since 2015, in order to provide indigenous students in colleges and universities with the one-stop service of life, studies, and employment guidance, the Ministry of Education and the CIP have provided subsidies to Indigenous Student Resource Centers (abbreviation as ISRC) for operational expenses. In addition, on December 8, 2016, to increase the number of schools accepting subsidies, the Regulations of MOE Subsidies for Indigenous Student Resource Centers in Colleges and Universities was established and announced. In 2017, the designated budgeting was increased for assisting schools to establish resource centers. In the same year, 2017, 4 Area Resource Centers located in northern, central, southern, and eastern parts of our nation, and 1 College Resource Center, were set up in order to establish school connections within areas and resource sharing platforms, as well as offering consultations and experience exchanges.
IV. The Development of Indigenous Peoples Experimental Education
i. The MOE promotion of indigenous peoples experimental education
According to the Enforcement Act for School-based Experimental Education, the Ministry of Education offers assistance and guidance to schools which have the intention to both implement indigenous peoples experimental education and have passed the review of city or county government. In addition, according to the Regulations of Primary, Junior High and Senior High Schools Implementing Experimental Education, as well as the Regulations of K-12 Education Administration, Ministry of Education Providing Subsidies to Senior High & Vocational High Schools to Implement Indigenous Peoples Experimental Education, classes of the indigenous peoples experimental education have been promoted, so as to perfect the planning of 12-Year Basic Education of the Indigenous Peoples Experimental Education.
ii. In order to fulfill the related regulations of the Education Act for Indigenous Peoples, as well as the General Guidelines of the Curriculum Guidelines of 12-Year Basic Education, the Ministry of Education has both established the indigenous course development and teaching guidance network between central and local authorities, and finalized a comprehensive indigenous teaching guidance construction. During 2017-2018, the Ministry of Education has established:
1. the Indigenous Course Development Cooperation Chief Center & Western Center in National Taichung University of Education
2. the Yilan & Hualien Branch of the Indigenous Course Development Cooperation Center in National Dong Hwa University
3. the Taitung Branch of the Indigenous Course Development Cooperation Center in National Taitung University
4. the South Branch of the Indigenous Course Development Cooperation Center in National Pingtung University
5. During 2019, the North Branch of the Indigenous Course Development Cooperation Center in National Tsing Hua University was established.
Through the guidance system, in combination with areas and groups of indigenous peoples, the concept of operation in different areas and with diverse indigenous peoples groups can be carried out. In this way, the operation of centers in each branch can be coherent and organized, so that successful and affluent indigenous course development can be consequently attained.