Constitutional & Legal Foundations
The Nationalist government's claim to rule Taiwan, which it considered a province, was originally predicated on its claim to rule all of China. However, the political reality is that the People's Republic of China (PRC) so strongly opposes Taiwan's independence that the 1947 Nationalist constitution has become more and more exclusively applied only to the island of Taiwan. Nevertheless, Chapter 10 of the constitution exhibits a federated flavor that extends autonomy in education administration from the national level down to the provincial, county, and municipal levels, and it seems that that autonomy is genuine. Chapter 13, Section 5 of the constitution affirms the right of every child to receive nine years of compulsory education, through the age of 15 (Articles 159 and 160); and it also mandates that the various levels of government administration reserve a prescribed percentage of their budget for educational, scientific, and cultural pursuits. These percentages are as follows: central government, 15 percent; provincial government, 25 percent; and county and municipal governments, 35 percent. In summary, the ROC constitution clearly stipulates that priority be given to funding education.
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