Fifteen Chinese language teachers who teach Mandarin outside Taiwan have received Excellent Teacher Awards, a biennial prize set up by the government-funded Overseas Chinese Culture and Education Foundation (OCCEF) to honor outstanding overseas language teachers.
The awarded teachers, including school principals and teachers who have worked in the field for several decades, come from the United States, Canada, Germany, Malaysia, Australia, Brazil, Paraguay, South Africa and Lesotho.
They were presented their Excellent Teacher Awards for overseas teachers by Vice President Chen Chien-jen at an award ceremony in Taipei.
In his address, Chen expressed the hope that Taiwan's high-quality Chinese language and cultural education outside of the country can become a "bright spot" for Taiwan in the international community.
The first Excellent Teacher Awards for overseas teachers were handed out in 2014 by the OCCEF, a non-profit government organization affiliated with the Cabinet-level Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC).
The organization is dedicated to the promotion of Chinese language and cultural education for Taiwanese expatriates.
There are currently over 1,000 Chinese schools in countries outside Taiwan that maintain links and contacts with Taiwan's government, according to OCAC Minister Wu Hsin-hsing.
The council will continue to provide good-quality textbook materials for the schools to promote the teaching of Mandarin using traditional Chinese characters, Wu said at the award ceremony.
Traditional Chinese characters are used in Taiwan and several other ethnic Chinese communities outside of China, which uses simplified characters.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan)