IMG_6852cJeremy Brown | The Feather Online Archive

Fu reflects on the education in Taiwan

Located next to China, Japan, Korea and Philippine, Taiwan is a tiny melting pot in Asia. The education system is much more complicated in Taiwan than here is in the United States. As children born in Asian culture, they are required by their parents to have many talents. Playing piano, playing violin, drawing, learning English, and doing abacus (math) are nothing special: just what students ought to be able to do.

As students grow older, more and more homework is put onto their shoulders, Many students began to cram schoolwork in the 7th grade. Being able to get a high score becomes the only purpose of a majority of students’ lives. Going home late is a normal part of many junior high school students’ lives. Going to bed by 11 o’clock or later is normal, between ten and 11 is great, and before nine o’clock is almost impossible.

There are only two periods of P.E. classes in one week, but pupils hardly participate in them. Students wonder why they need P.E. class when only two students in the class are swimming and the rest are sitting on the benches.

9th grade is the most important year for junior high students. Students study so hard that school seems like a graveyard after the sunset. As the exam comes closer, massive amount of tests and handouts are given out by teachers and schoolwork cram can stack up higher than five feet.

In 2010, my sister Jane Fu took the last year test of the “The Basic Competence Test for Junior High School Students” in Taiwan. The following year the education system officials realized that there were too many mistakes in the scoring. The government decided to cancel the new test before the summer vacation was over. Recently, there was a student who scored nothing, but was accepted into the top three high schools in Taiwan.

(PODCAST) Student life in Taiwan Sept. 17–

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After students finish high school, another challenge is waiting for them. High admission rate almost makes college worthless. In 2008, Taiwan made the admission rate 97.1%, which allowed students to go to the college so easily that scoring 7.69 points was sufficient to go to college in Taiwan.

As the result, young people with master degrees or even doctorate degrees could not find a job. News shows up day after day saying that doctors aren’t making money at the hospital of their professions, but instead from making food at the night market.

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For more features, read the Sept. 11 article, New coach brings excitement, energy to PE.