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Despite the many changes that either have occurred or are likely to occur, if there is a single overarching theme that can be said to characterize education in Taiwan, then it is probably centralization. Particularly in the last two decades, education has advanced at a pace on a par with Taiwan's burgeoning economy. But it has always done so in a manner that is prescriptive and congruent with precedents established in the middle of the previous century.

Educators in Taiwan today confront difficulties that are consistent with those confronting most of their rapidly developing Asian neighbors, and those difficulties seem to center on how to reduce the overall sense of disjunction between the present and the past. To their credit, those authorities have already moved to eradicate many of the most pressing difficulties. In Taiwan, where the pressures for academic success have been enormous and wholly dependent upon the single avenue of a university entrance examination, the move to diversify the criteria for admittance is a welcome one. This important reform will likely have some corrective effect on the persistent "brain drain" phenomenon, if only because it will encourage the admission of students into a system who feel that system is inherently more fair. The whole question of how Taiwan will continue to replenish its pool of qualified teachers in the future remains a problem of the first order. However, judging from the inherited ingenuity and increasing adaptability that has already been demonstrated, Taiwan's success in surmounting this educational hurdle is undoubtedly close at hand.


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—Don J. Wyatt

Additional topics

Education - Free Encyclopedia Search EngineGlobal Education ReferenceTaiwan - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education