The Ministry of Education promotes the reform of courses in senior high schools in order to stimulate students’ development according to their own interests
Since 1929, the Temporary Courses Standards for Primary and Secondary Education was announced. Until 2007, the Curriculum Guideline for Secondary Education, including the standards, has been revised 13 times. The Curriculum Guideline for Senior High Schools was implemented in the academic year 99, and its major features include: strengthening the general education literacy, developing different teaching material versions for different groups of students, ensuring the availability of optional courses on non-academic subjects, and strengthening the professional autonomy of schools. In July 2005, the working circle of courses affairs development in standard senior high schools and 23 centers of academic subjects was established, in order to assist the related supporting measures of courses promotion, and teacher cultivation.
The Ministry of Education has promoted the 12-Year Consecutive Courses, and the First Stage of the 12-Year Consecutive Courses was finalized in 2006. To set up the consecutive courses of primary and junior high schools, the Ministry of Education announced the Reference Guidelines of Consecutive Courses of Primary and Junior High Schools in October 2006, which provides research references on the curriculum guidelines of primary and secondary schools. The Curriculum Guidelines of Nine-Year Compulsory Education were finalized in 2008, and were fully operational in the academic year 99. The Curriculum Guidelines of Standard Senior High Schools and the Curriculum Guidelines of Vocational High Schools were finalized in 2008, and were in effect in the academic year 100. The Curriculum Guidelines of Integrative Senior and Vocational High Schools were finalized in 2010, and were fully operational in the academic year 100.
The Implementation Project of 12-Year Compulsory Education and its supporting measures, named as the Establishment Program of 12-Year Consecutive Courses were approved by the Executive Yuan on September 20, 2011, 院臺教字第1000103358號函. The core concepts of the Establishment Program of 12-Year Consecutive Courses includes: the student-based orientations, the comprehensive and consecutive organization of the courses, and the core literacy of citizenship cultivation. According to these concepts, the Ministry of Education activated the Second Stage of the Establishment Program of 12-Year Consecutive Courses. The National Academy for Educational Research was responsible for research on each revision, and reporting to the Ministry of Education for further review. The core literacy indicators of all educational levels were finalized by the National Academy for Educational Research in 2013. The Course Development Guideline of 12-Year Compulsory Education and the Proposal of 12-Year Compulsory Education Course Development Guidelines were both completed on February 17, 2014.
On October 27, 2014, the MOE Education Council of Courses in Primary, Junior High and Senior High Schools approved the General Guidelines of the Curriculum Guidelines of 12-Year Basic Education which was announced on November 28, 2014. It is expected to gradually carry out the curriculum guidelines at all educational levels, starting from the first grade in primary, junior high and senior high schools in August, 2019.
The review of all fields, subjects, and cluster curriculum guidelines in the 12-Year Basic Education, including the editing of the textbook guidelines were all approved, and announced by the end of December, 2018.
The Ministry of Education promotes science education in senior high schools in order to cultivate students with talents in the field of technology.
The MOE focus on promotional affairs of science education in primary, junior high, and senior high schools includes:
- The participation in International Mathematics or Science Olympiads; until 2018, students of our nation have obtained 362 gold medals, 341 silver medals, 234 bronze medals, and 114 honorary awards.
- The continuous implementation of mathematics and information subjects competitions in senior high schools
- The subsidization of primary and senior high school science education projects
- The student cultivation project of science education in senior high schools
- The National Primary and High School Science Fair and the International Science Fair have been managed by the National Taiwan Science Education Center.
The Ministry of Education encourages students to learn a second foreign language in order to cultivate a comprehensive global perspective.
Second foreign language subjects were included in the optional courses and regulated by the senior high school curriculum standards in 1983, both to respond to the demands of becoming a global society and to correspond with the trend of cultivating students with a comprehensive understanding of the international world. In 1994, senior high schools started to carry out second foreign language courses for students to take part in, in an experimental education form. In the academic year 85, the Ministry of Education undertook the Experimental Project of Second Foreign Language Optional Courses in Senior High Schools, and its operational period was 3 years. The3rd Session of the 5-Year Promotional Project of Second Foreign Language Courses in Senior High Schools was announced in 2010. In the first and second semesters of the academic year 88, there were in total, 648 classes, with 22,623 students taking second foreign language courses in our nation; the Website of Second Foreign Language Subjects Center was established as well. Until now, in the first and second semesters of the academic year 106, there were in total, 3,042 classes, with 91,450 students taking second foreign language courses in our nation. The total number of students taking second foreign language courses in senior high schools has dramatically increased.
In order to both promote and undertake international education in primary and secondary schools, and to strengthen the depth and width of international education, the Ministry of Education especially revised and announced the Directions Governing MOE K-12 Education Administration Subsidies for International Education Promotion for Primary, Junior High and Senior High Schools Implementation Plan on October 28, 2016. This plan leads primary, junior high and senior high schools to carry out international education in four dimensions, which include: course development and teaching, international interchange, teachers’ professional knowledge and skills advancement, and the internationalization of schools.
For the purpose of enabling senior high school students to take part in international interchanges in a practical way, the interchange system of international education tours was set up through the organization of international education resources. For both encouraging foreign students to visit Taiwan on education tours, and inspiring senior high schools in our nation to promote international education tours, the Ministry of Education particularly revised and announced the Directions of Subsidies to Senior High Schools to Implement Education Tours on July 12, 2018.
The Ministry of Education steadily promotes 12-Year Basic Education.
The Ministry of Education has continuously planned the preparation and related measures of 12-Year Basic Education for the long term. After 2008, the Pilot Program of 12-Year Basic Education was steadily promoted, including 13 sub-programs and 23 projects, in hoping to settle the foundation for the 12-Year Basic Education. After the 8thNational Education Meeting, to respond to the requirements of national developments and the expectations from all sectors of society, the Executive Yuan established the inter-departmental Promotional Team of 12-Year Basic Education. The Ministry of Education also set up the Task Force of 12-Year Basic Education and the Task Circle of 12-Year Basic Education, to actively manage related projects, required fees, and operation periods, with the invited experts, scholars, school representatives, and related ministries and departments.
The Executive Yuan approved the 12-Year Basic Education Implementation Project and its supporting measures on September 20, 2011. The content of the 12-Year Basic Education Implementation Project contained 3 visions: enhancing the education quality in primary and secondary schools, achieving every child’s dream, cultivating students’ competencies to fortify national competitiveness; and 5 major concepts were also included: “In teaching there should be no distinction of classes”, “ Teach students in accordance with their aptitude”, “Nurture students by their nature”, “ Develop diverse school entry paths”, and “Fine quality of transition between each education level”. In addition, 7 major task items (including 10 projects) and 11 supporting measures (including 19 projects), 29 programs in total, were also included. The Ministry of Education cooperates with municipalities, city and county governments to carry out each program of 12-Year Basic Education, through all types of promotion so that all sectors of society may have a complete understanding of the content of this policy.
The Senior High School Education Act was announced on July 10, 2013, which approved the legislative authority of promoting the 12-Year Basic Education. The 12-Year Basic Education was officially initiated in the academic year 103.
The Ministry of Education promotes the teaching, courses, human resource of teachers, and the evaluation cooperative system in primary and secondary schools.
To fortify the inter-system organization, the Ministry of Education promoted and implemented the Curriculum Guidelines of 12-Year Basic Education, and established the MOE teaching, courses, teachers, and the evaluation cooperative centers in primary and secondary schools. Experienced and retired members in the education field were selected and hired to be the central organization members. Since the onset of this operation in August 2016, four major systems were integrated: courses teaching development, courses on promotion and implementation, teacher cultivation development, and the guidance of school entries. The integration and cooperation between chief authorities units, and the links between central authority and city or county authorities are strengthened, so as to achieve inter-system (between MOE and all units) and inter-level (between central authority, cities, counties, and schools) cooperation.
The Ministry of Education strengthens students’ practical competencies in order to upgrade students’ future employability.
The Ministry of Education promoted the Second Session of the Program for Rebuilding Technical and Vocational Education during 2013-2017. The related promotional policies to skill-based senior high schools in the aforementioned project are as follows: to emphasize the features of vocational education, realize the spirit of practical usages in skill-based senior high school education, strengthen the connection with industry, upgrade students’ practical skills in skill-based senior high schools, empower students with employability after their graduation, and thus change the viewpoint of society regarding vocational education. The major promotional strategies in this project include: the modification of departments, flexible courses, renewing facilities, advancement of practical techniques and skills, and connection with future workplaces. The potential opportunities of cooperation with industries are increased through encouraging teachers to: participate in workshops in private organizations, engage in collaborative teaching with professionals in industry, inspire interchanges between teachers in schools and professionals in industry, and strengthen teachers’ practical experience. For the purpose of cultivating students to be equipped with professional abilities in techniques and skills, and thus enhancing their employability, the Ministry of Education encourages schools to set up: practice-orientation feature courses, workplace English workshops, basic education internships and facilities for special course developments, students’ participation in internships in industries or future workplaces. Schools are encouraged to plan employability-orientation courses with training institutes or colleges to boost the acquisition of practical techniques and skills.
In addition, the cooperative education classes and practical technique courses are strengthened. Via the cooperation between schools and institutes which participate in the cooperative education classes, students may have the opportunity to enter into these institutes and learn related vocational skills and competencies. The practical technique courses are organized according to each year, stimulate employability orientation, are based on technique and skill learnings, and thus cultivate students’ employability.