TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—In light of frequent reports of foreign teachers committing sexual offenses against their students in Taiwan in the past, the Legislature’s Education and Culture Committee has greenlighted a stricter clean slate bill for first-time foreign teachers in Taiwan, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said on Wednesday.
Huang Yue-li (黃月麗), Director of MOE’s Department of Lifelong Education, said that the amendment to the Supplementary Education Act (補習及教育進修法) would require cram schools in the country to attach documents to certify the foreign teachers they intend to hire have no criminal history in their original countries before employment permits could be issued to the applying schools.
The committee approved the draft amendment against the backdrop of the recent suicide of a Taiwanese female novelist, whose death has been suspected to be linked to the mental trauma she had been suffering from being lured by a cram school teacher to have sex with him during her high school days.
Currently, the law only requires cram schools to produce documents issued by Taiwan police authority proving the foreign teachers they are hiring have a clean criminal background in Taiwan.
According to MOE data, there are about 18,000 cram schools and 4,800 foreign teachers in Taiwan.
Huang said that she was hoping that the amendment would provide better protection to young students in the country via tighter control at the borders.
The amendment bill would also require cram schools to use their teachers’ real names in advertising so students and parents could be certain of their identity and nothing was hidden. Violations could result in suspension of student recruitment or even license revocation, according to the bill.