Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

MOE to ban cram schools from recruiting children under six

MOE to ban cram schools from recruiting children under six

Taipei, Nov. 1 (CNA) Cram schools offering pre-school education will be banned from recruiting children under the age of six for certain classes to ensure their wholesome mental and physical development, according to a draft law revision approved by the Ministry of Education (MOE) Tuesday.
The MOE elaborated that schools offering classes such as English speaking, composition methods, speed reading, mental calculation, and abacus skills could not admit children under the age of six.
However, classes that would help a child's physical coordination or foster artistic talent would not be subject to the ban. These classes would be allowed, following approval by local and municipal authorities. According to the ministry, the revised draft of the Supplementary and Continuing Education Law, which still has to be sent to the Executive Yuan and Legislative Yuan for approval, now ensureed that all cram-school education was regulated under the All Levels School Law. After the revised law has been approved and promulgated, there will be a grace period of two years, the ministry stated. Cram-school operators who violate the law will be subject to a fine between NT$50,000 (US$1,662) and NT$250,000. Currently, there are 6,592 cram schools that admit pre-school children. The ministry estimated that most of these schools teach English. Cram school operators responded negatively to the proposed revision.
Chang Hao-jan, secretary general of a cram school association in Taipei City, said the ministry's move was "preposterous," adding that it would cause trouble for parents. Pre-school education is not obligatory. Parents should have the option to choose," he said.
Chang expressed concern that if the ministry banned cram schools from recruiting children under the age of six, rich parents could easily hire private tutors but the less wealthy could not, resulting in a "class struggle." A woman surnamed Wu who has a four-year-old child said children have a lot more time on their hands before school, so she wanted her child to explore different interests before entering primary school.
She noted that her child was less afraid of figures after becoming familiar with the abacus. Hsieh Kuo-ching, president of the National Alliance of Parents Organization, said that he was positive about the ministry's good intention, but he worried that cram-school operators might try to circumvent the regulations by offering banned classes under false names. (By Lin Szu-yu, Hsu Chih-wei and Lilian Wu)