What you need to know
Asian countries are known for their overwhelming education systems and tense exam schedules. Among all of them, Taiwan stands out by having the longest school hours, which has angered some students while others think it’s necessary.
Translated and compiled by Yuan-ling Liang
On March 7, Wang Hao-yu, a young councilor of Zhongli District, Taoyuan City, posted on his Facebook page saying that teenagers in Taiwan spend the longest time at school in the world, which is “abnormal.” The average high school hours in Taiwan is 9.5 hours, starting from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., which is even longer than general working hours.
Wang lists the school hours of several countries in his post. In Germany, Japan, Mexico and Canada, the average is six hours; while in the US, UK and Australia it is 6.5 hours. In Argentina, the average is only four hours. Similar cases to Taiwan include South Korea and China with averages of eight and nine hours respectively.
Wang also says that this phenomenon needs reformation because “if students are used to excessive learning hours, in the future, they probably would not dare stand up against their bosses when asked to work overtime.”
Wang’s post has raised discussion. Most people support him, while some do not agree, saying that such pressure is necessary for students.
Netizens comment on “inefficient” arrangements at school
A netizen submitted a post on PTT, a non-profit platform in Taiwan that allows netizens to criticize social issues freely. In the post, the author mentions the unnecessary time arrangement at school.
To maintain public sanitary, Taiwanese students are usually asked to clean the school in the morning and afternoon, which, according to the author, is time wasting. Also, the weekly ceremony is depicted as an “inefficient” procedure that could be carried out by broadcast.
Extra courses after school are also brought up and the author thinks they are very overwhelming and even break regulations. The extra classes are originally set up as ”tutoring hours,” which is optional. However, in many high schools, the curriculum uses them as “general school hours” for teaching schedules; therefore, they become non-optional.
The post has received more than 3,000 views. Generally, posts that receive more than 1,000 views are considered popular articles.
A reliable or abnormal system?
Another post on Dcard, a social network platform allowing only Taiwanese college students to interact on, also shares Wang’s opinion. Many students say that they are “disappointed” and “sad” to have been born in such a country, and some of them even start to delve into the cause of such a system.
A Taiwanese student studying at LaSalle University recalls his experience in Taiwan before going to the US. He compares the grading system in the two countries, noticing that Taiwanese teachers focus mainly on students’ performance on exams while American teachers disperse by various factors, such as attendance and learning attitude, upon grading.
However, a student says there are still advantages of this education strategy, especially for students who do not know how to improve their studying. “By simply following this arrangement, I could achieve certain grades easily,” he writes.
Edited by Olivia Yang