Southeast Asian languages will be listed as required courses in Taiwan's elementary schools from 2018, given the growing population of new immigrants from that region, Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (???) has announced.
Currently, there are about 260,000 children of new immigrants in Taiwan's primary and secondary schools, Pan said at an event Friday in Kaohsiung that highlighted the learning achievements of immigrant students.
He said the presence of new immigrants and their children brings greater diversity to Taiwan and opens up opportunities for expanded exchanges with other countries in the region under the government's New Southbound Policy.
The policy is aimed at seeking deepening ties with countries in Southeast Asia and South Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
The introduction of Southeast Asian languages on the core curriculum will allow greater opportunities for Taiwanese students and children from new immigrant families, Pan said.
In addition, interaction between Taiwan and Southeast Asian countries is likely to increase as they develop greater understanding of each other's culture and language, Pan said.
He said Southeast Asian language courses will also be introduced from next year in several Taiwan universities, which also plan to expand studies relating to countries in the region.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel