Inception of the Education Reform Review Process
After the 1980’s, the Republic of China (Taiwan) marched toward a diverse, democratic and open society. In April 1994, the 410 Alliance of Education Reform proposed 4 appeals: to establish the Educational Fundamental Act, to establish small scale classes and schools, to establish more senior high schools and universities, and to promote the modernization of education. In the same year, the Ministry of Education held the 7th National Education Meeting . This led to the Executive Yuan establishing the Consultation Committee of Education Reform, which finalized the Consultants’ Concluding Report on Education Reform in December 1996. As a fundamental orientation of education reform, the Executive Yuan proposed to relax the limitations in the education system, to take good care of every student, to accelerate school entrance paths, to enhance teaching quality, and to establish a lifelong learning society.
Implementation of 12 Items of Education Reform
In order to fulfill the measures outlined in the Consultants’ Concluding Report on Education Reform, the Ministry of Education planned the Education Reform Action Program. After being reviewed by the Team of the Education Reform Promotion, this program was designed and finalized within 5 years, from July 1998 to 2003. It was assigned a budget of more than NT$157 billion. The following 12 working items were included in this program: enhancement of primary and junior high school education, popularization of pre-school education, completion of pre-service and in-service teacher cultivation and training systems, encouraging provision of more variety and refinement of technical and vocational education, pursuit of outstanding development in higher education, promotion of lifelong education and information network education, promotion of family education, strengthening of education for disabled students, reinforcement of education for indigenous students, acceleration of school entrance path options, establishment of new systems for student counseling and guidance, and lastly the completion of education budgets and strengthening of educational research.
Review and Improvement of Education Policy and the Convergence of the Education Reform Consensus
In order to review the implementation of education reform and to reach an agreement on education reform, the Ministry of Education held two review meetings in May 1999, and December 2001. The subject of these two meetings was education reform. The National Education Development Meeting was also held in September 2003, and the 8th National Education Meeting was held in August 2010, to reach an agreement on the orientation of education reform.
Publication of the Education Report of the Republic of China
Following the conclusions and advice arising from the 8th National Education Meeting , the Ministry of Education conducted and published the Education Report of the Republic of China in order to plan the ten year education development blueprint of the Republic of China (2011-2021). This included the following 10 strategies for development: promoting 12-year basic education and the integration of kindergartens and nursery schools, completing the education system and reinforcing education resources, refining teacher cultivation and the development of teachers’ professional skills, stimulating the transformation and development of higher education, cultivating knowledge-based economic talents and innovating the education industry, developing various literacies of modern citizenship, promoting sports and health care for everyone, respecting various cultures and caring for the rights of those in need and special education groups, broadening cross-strait and international education and education for overseas students, and lastly deepening lifelong and social education. These strategies were designed with the intention of achieving 4 goals: refinement, innovation, fairness, and sustainability; and 3 prospects: new era, new education, and new promise.
Publication of the MOE Talented Students and Teachers White Paper
The MOE Talent White Paper was published in December 2013, as a ten year blueprint for talent cultivation (2014-2023), and it outlined 16 promotional strategies and 39 action programs. Three schemes were contained within the MOE Talent White Paper: 12-year Basic Education (K-12), Technical and Vocational Education, Internationalization of University Education and the Mobilization of Talented Students and Teachers. The measures contained within the White Paper are expected to achieve 4 goals: cultivating excellent devoted teachers, reducing the gap between knowledge obtained from education and future careers, strengthening students’ international competitiveness, and lastly doubling students’ future economic value. Furthermore, this initiative aims to improve the prospects of cultivating various excellent talents, and creating a thriving society of happiness together.
Planning the MOE Promotional Bilingual Nation Project
The Executive Yuan announced the policy titled “Blueprint for Developing Taiwan into a Bilingual Nation by 2030” on December 6, 2018. The Ministry of Education promotes Bilingual Education for the goals of implementing the full scale bilingualization of Taiwan’s educational system and to cultivating bilingual talents to bring Taiwan to the world stage. Five strategies were developed for achieving these goals: to adopt a dynamic teaching approach with a focus on daily English use, to expand human resources required for English Education, to make effective use of digital technology, to accelerate the internationalization of the educational system, and lastly to relax current education regulations. It is expected that students’ English proficiency and their competitiveness in future workplaces will be enhanced as a result of this policy.