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Taiwan’s Pingtung on English teacher hiring spree

County known for tourist beaches working to enhance English education

Pingtung County holds press event on English education.

Pingtung County holds press event on English education. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Southern Taiwan's Pingtung County has ramped up efforts to recruit English teachers in line with the country’s ambition to go bilingual by 2030.

A total of 25 foreign teachers, who hail from the U.K., U.S., Canada, and elsewhere, have been teaching English in 48 Pingtung primary and secondary schools. The county government held a press event Monday (Nov. 9) to demonstrate how the classes, which it touts as immersive learning environments, will be conducted, wrote CNA.

Pingtung Magistrate Pan Men-an (潘孟安) promised funding would be increased next year to employ more English teachers in order to meet the demand of all schools at the primary and secondary levels. The educators must be qualified and will be subject to an evaluation every two months.

The government has set aside an annual budget of NT$1 million (US$35,049) per teacher, with the aim of equipping its four senior high schools, 35 junior high schools, and 164 elementary schools with English instructors within two years, according to the Department of Education. The hiring scheme has been halted this year, but the county plans to introduce more teachers over the years, an official told Taiwan News.

Taiwan is gearing up to remake itself as a bilingual country by 2030, emphasizing English learning to sharpen its competitive edge. The initiative, however, has been met with opposition over issues such as resource distribution, qualifications, and wages.

Momentum to put in place an English-friendly environment has been building in many sectors. The Financial Supervisory Commission has adopted a program to provide bilingual banking, with at least 69 banks nationwide currently offering English services.

Taiwan’s Pingtung on English teacher hiring spree
Foreign teacher gives students a soccer lesson. (CNA photo)