Languages of Immigrants in Taiwan Will Become Elementary School Compulsory Courses in 2018

Languages of Immigrants in Taiwan Will Become Elementary School Compulsory Courses in 2018
Photo Credit: 中央廣播電台
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Merit Times reports, according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Education, there are 211 thousand children of new immigrants among a total of 2.055 million elementary school and junior high school students, which accounts for 10.28% of the population. This also means one out of ten students is a new immigrant child.

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Today is not only the United Nation’s International Migrants Day, but it is also the same for the Republic of China. According to statistics, marriage migrants in Taiwan have already reached 500 thousand people and their second generation is up to 350 thousand people. If counting their Taiwanese spouses, the entire population of these immigrant families is over one million.

National Education Radio reports, on the eve of International Immigrants Day, Premier Mao Chi-kuo said, the Executive Yuan has put a lot of effort in setting up the New Immigrants Affairs Coordination Committee in the middle of this year, which integrates the resources and services of different committees. Its New Immigrants Development Funds have been adjusted from NT$ 7 hundred million (approximately US$ 21.19 million) to NT$ 1 billion (approximately US$30.27 million) to provide better care for new immigrants. They hope to establish a system to support the operation of the fund.

According to spokesperson of the Executive Yuan, Sun Lih-chyun, who related Mao’s words, the Taiwanese government plans to ease regulations related to foreigners working in Taiwan starting from next January. They would like to attract more international students to study in higher education and vocational high schools in Taiwan.

Merit Times reports, according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Education, there are 211 thousand children of new immigrants among a total of 2.055 million elementary school and junior high school students, which accounts for 10.28% of the population. This also means one out of ten students is a new immigrant child.

The Ministry of Education recently announced, starting from the academic year of 2018, languages of these new immigrants will become compulsory courses. In addition to the daily courses, the K-12 Education Administration plans to start the courses during summer and winter vacations, and extracurricular time. For example, the New Immigrants Language Learning Program piloted this year has attracted 52 elementary and junior high schools in Taiwan to join. Each school was subsidized NT$100 thousand (approximately US$3,027) to encourage passing the languages and cultures on to the second generation.

To develop the potential of new immigrants, the Ministry of Education has eased the enrollment requirements of subsidiary schools. Those who hold a Taiwan resident certificate or passport can enroll and obtain an official certificate. Online universities also have lowered the qualifications for prospective students, permitting those with resident certificates to enroll without taking entrance exams.

Liberty Times reports, each city and county in Taiwan implements different policies. For example, foreign spouses in Pingtung county is about to break a record of 20 thousand people, so Pingtung County Mayor Pang Meng-an has asked its Department of Civil Affairs to make a plan to set up third language road signs. Division Chief of the Local Governance Division, Lin Yu-guang says, by the end of this year, 15 road signs in Chinese, Indonesian and Vietnamese around Huaqiao Market in Donggang, Pingtung will be put up.

According to statistics from the Department of Civil Affairs, there are over 10 thousand Chinese spouses in Pingtung County; more than 5.4 thousand Vietnamese; and more than 1.7 thousand Indonesian.

Translated by Wen-yee Lee
Edited by Olivia Yang

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