"Wish of a Bee," an English-teaching material created by a group of teachers from Kaohsiung County's Ba Gua Elementary School, is the winner of this year's Citigroup Success Fund competition.
The annual contest attracted 46 entries fielded by workgroups comprising 116 junior high school and elementary school teachers across Taiwan. Last week's awarding ceremony was attended by Vice Premier Wu Rong-i, Citibank Vice Chairman James Wu, National Teachers' Association President Wu Chung-tat, and Taiwan Public Television Foundation Chairman Louis Chen.
Education has always been one of Citigroup's key priorities, said James Wu, Citibank Taiwan vice chairman of Corporate & Investment Banking.
The Citigroup Success Fund, first introduced in 1990 in the U.S. state of Florida, supports projects that aim to improve the quality of education in Taiwan schools.
The bank is hoping to help improve Taiwan's English-learning programs by encouraging junior high school and elementary school educators to produce new and easily replicable teaching methods and creative learning tools.
Since 2003, Citibank Taiwan has been allocating US$100,000 annually into its English-learning program in cooperation with Taiwan's largest teachers' organization, the National Teachers' Association. The grant was provided by the Citigroup Foundation.
The third annual competition was tougher than past contests, Citigroup said. For the first time, the event was opened to junior high school teachers. Their task was also more challenging. Contestants were asked to produce English-learning materials that aimed to stimulate the creativity of elementary and junior high school educators.
Each entry should cover at least a month's lessons - 10 to 20 lessons for junior high school students and four to eight lessons for elementary school students. The teaching material should include a textbook, an exercise workbook, and a teacher's guide.
Winning the grand prize was "Wish of a Bee." The material was jointly produced by a team from Kaohsiung's Ba Gua Elementary School comprising Wang Pei-yi, Chang Jia-ling, Chiu Jia-qi, and Liao Hui-zhen. The group received a NT$50,000 grant.
According to Citigroup, the four teachers are still undergoing practical training.
Almost half of the entries submitted to the jurors were produced not by individuals but by workgroups, Citigroup added.
English skills are critical in the age of globalization, NTA President Wu Chung-tat said.