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NFTU urges stricter rules for quasi-public kindergartens

Reporter TVBS News Staff
Release time:2024/02/18 08:00
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TAIPEI (TVBS News) — Taiwan's government has made significant investments in promoting quasi-public kindergartens. Under this model, the government contracts with private kindergartens and subsidizes them to provide relatively affordable education and care services.

Despite these efforts, quasi-public kindergartens have been under scrutiny over the past six years.

 

"In the process, the government constantly subsidizes private kindergartens to increase the number of schools, and whoever applies gets passed," Hou Chun-liang, the President of the National Federation of Teachers Unions (NFTU), said.

According to the Ministry of Education (MOE), between 2018 and 2023, 3,409 public kindergarten classes were added, creating 83,000 new slots. Additionally, in 2023, 1,947 private kindergartens joined the quasi-public model, providing an additional 228,000 enrollment spots.

While the number of facilities has increased, the NFTU is urging the MOE to raise the threshold for private institutions to join the model to ensure the quality of education. The NFTU is also advocating for stricter regulations for quasi-public kindergartens to stay in the program.
 

Wu Chien-heng, a principal, at a quasi-public kindergarten, agrees with the idea. "I think that it is the exit mechanism that should be strengthened if the kindergartens have evidence of violating regulations," Wu said. 

Wang Huey-chiou, the Division Chief of the Division of Preschool Education at the K-12 Education Administration, said that the government has been making amendments accordingly, and added relevant provisions of enrollment reduction or suspension if the institution received penalties. 

The budget for quasi-public kindergarten subsidies has grown from NT$3 billion to over NT$10 billion in 2022, almost matching the budget for public kindergartens.

In addition to stricter regulations and better monitoring of quasi-public kindergartens, the NFTU is calling on the government to increase the number of public kindergartens. Taiwan, with its declining birth rate, needs a more pragmatic approach to put parents' minds at ease.
 

The Taiwan Briefing

#Taiwan#Quasi-public kindergartens#Education#Scrutiny#Government#Affordable#Regulations#Quality#Stricter#Innovation
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