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“Educating all children with the same methods is the wrong education policy," says Stanley Yen, Chairman of The Alliance Cultural Foundation. On September 19, Yen said at a forum that only 26 percent of students in Germany go to college and over 70 percent choose to work or receive technical and vocational education. But why do seventy percent of Taiwanese kids have to accompany the other thirty percent in their struggle to enter college?

Apple Daily reports, Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa says the ministry announced a program for rural education in April and 29 teams will promote it in 224 schools nationwide.

UDN reports, Yen says the problems of rural education in Taiwan is people are only discussing remedial teaching and school lunches, but this can’t change the future of children.

Yen also says teaching methods are the same regardless of rural or urban cities and is another problem. He says methods that are meant to cultivate elites can’t be implemented on all students. Why should the other talents and advantages of seventy percent of students be neglected?

UDN reports, a junior high school teacher, Yang Chuan-feng, has been working with rural education for ten years in Changhua. Yang says in the education system where scores are all that matter, teachers and students of rural regions are being bullied.

UDN reports, Chen Chao-ming, lecturer at Shih Chien University, says Taiwan should follow the example of rural education in Japan and Australia.

Japan enacted a law regarding revitalizing rural education in 1954 and Australia also developed an act exclusively for rural education based on human rights. Both regulations come from understanding the uniqueness of rural education and the inequality can only be solved through special treatment.

How does Japan do it?

  • More teachers in more rural regions.

UDN reports, a retired elementary school teacher in Osaka says there are more teachers in the more rural areas in Japan. For example, there might be one teacher for a class of 35 students in cities, but there might be one for a class of 20 in rural regions.

  • A three-year rotation for teachers in rural regions

The salaries of teachers in rural areas are also higher. Credits are calculated by the degree of rurality, for example the distance between the area and downtown, and the salaries of the teachers increase with the number of credits. Most of the teachers are 30 to 45 years old and rotate every three years.

  • Putting students of all ages in one classroom.

A teacher from Wakayama says students tend to speak up more when there are less students in a class and forms a teaching model in which students are the main subjects. Feelings of being left out are decreased through mixed-age classes and older students can even guide the younger ones.

Translated by Olivia Yang