Survey Shows Only 24% Taiwanese High School Students Discuss Public Issues With Teachers

Survey Shows Only 24% Taiwanese High School Students Discuss Public Issues With Teachers
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What you need to know

Although more than 70% of teenagers hope to learn more about public issues, but in the end less than 20% of them really get involved and take action in public issues. This data shows that schools still have room for improvement regarding education in public participation.

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On November 10, the Taiwan Fund for Children and Family (TFCF) issued a report on teenagers’ public participation and usage of social media. It shows that only 23.7% of the young people discuss public issues with teachers at school every week.

Although more than 70% of teenagers hope to learn more about public issues, but in the end less than 20% of them really get involved and take action in public issues. This data shows that schools still have room for improvement regarding education in public participation.

Liberty Times reports, survey results indicate more than half (55.5%) of high school students would like or share posts about the public issues they are concerned with. However, only 25% of them would re-post the articles on their personal social media page.

In terms of participating in public issues in person, less than 10% of the teenagers have taken part in demonstrations or parades about public issues, and only 6% have joined NGOs that can influence public policies. These statistics show that Taiwanese high schools students tend to only discuss public issues and lack taking action to participate.

UDN reports, the survey also shows that less than half of the high schools students discuss public issues with their peers in person within a week. 45% of the high school students discuss public issues with their parents and other family members, but only 24% talk about these with teachers.

CNA reports, a student representative, You Hao-ya, says the classmates almost only talk about computers or games. On the other hand, due to the fear of having incompatible opinions might affect the relationship between classmates, there is little opportunity to talk about public issues. The teachers only bring them up once in a while in class.

Lin Xuan, another high school student representative who is concerned about public issues says at schools it’s always the teachers who express their opinions and students often passively accept the ideas. In addition, since teachers grade the students, students do not dare to freely express their thoughts.

She says one time a teacher mentioned the curriculum controversy, saying that students should only study and not stick their noses into other businesses. Lin protested, but the teacher didn’t seem to be pleased. From then on she was scared to discuss public issues with that teacher.

Apple Daily reports, Lin Yu-xuan, who traveled to Germany as an exchange student, says that people blend the public issues into their daily lives in Germany. Schools also arrange courses regarding public issues with more interactive discussions. However, in Taiwan, such discussions are still unilateral lectures from teachers to students.

Huang Yi-zhong, a teacher at Dazhi Senior High School, says the teachers are willing to include public issues into classes, but they will receive concerns from both the school and parents. He believes that teachers should let students think critically. If the teacher abuses their authority by affecting the students’ grades once they hold opposite opinions, then the person is not qualified to be a teacher.

Huang also calls for parents to trust their children and understand that it’s a good thing for children to care about public issues.

Translated by Vic Chiang
Edited by Olivia Yang

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