Compulsory Education

Hey parents,

Is kindergarten required? Or does it starts at first grade? Thanks!

Not required.

Compulsory education starts at 1st grade AFAIK.

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Thanks. I think I found it from the MOE website.
It confusingly did not mention the grade, instead it define school age from 6 -15 years old.
Primary school to my knowledge starts from grade 1 or primary 1.

And that’s when a kid with 6yo starts attending. :wink:

Some slow learners don’t start P1 at that age. They could be at kindergarten.

Not according to the law.
A kid with 6yo should attend compulsory education (or home schooling, but that’s another topic) which would be the first grade.

Kindergarten here = anything before first grade (so “nursery” or “preschool” or “K3 and K4” + kindergarten to the rest of the world)
First grade = the grade you usually enter at the age of 6, then turn 7 during that year (97% of the time, obviously there are exceptions for May-November birthdays, developmental things, etc.)

Also, while kindergartens are often located within elementary schools, even a K5 child attending school inside an elementary school is not considered to be in elementary school student here. You’ll get a lot of “my child will attend the elementary school NEXT year” from parents of current 5-year-old kindergartners who go to the kindergarten inside that elementary school if you forget this.

It was confusing when I first got here and now I get confused when talking to people not in Taiwan.


You need a special permission/exemptions not to send a 6yo to elementary school.

One can apply for home schooling.
Is they what you’re referring to?

No. Home schooled kid still belongs to an elementary school.


I didn’t know that.
What kind of exemptions could be applied, then?

Article 12 of
Compulsory Education Act

School-age citizens who are disabled or whose health status precludes enrollment may be granted delayed enrollment if supporting evidence from public medical institutions is provided; however, enrollment is required once their health has been restored.

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Unless both parents are foreign, right?


Uhh, or unless the 6yo is a foreigner?

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I think if the kid was here on a foreign passport, they wouldn’t need to register and be linked with an elementary school. If the kid is Taiwanese, they have to register

Thanks everyone.

I want to take my 5 year old out of kindergarten and wait until primary one to start school. All of us are foreigners. We don’t want to violate the compulsory education requirement by doing so.

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When does your kid turn 6? If after September, then he wouldn’t start grade one until August 2022. If before September, he should start this year. I wouldn’t miss grade one if you planned to let him join later. Catching up would be hard. Not going to kindergarten is very unusual here. We had three years of people telling us that we are ruining our kid by not going to kindergarten. But my kid turned out fine.


He’s turning 6 next year April 2022. Yes, not planning to miss grade 1, assuming we get out of this situation.

Funny thing is 2 of our friends mentioned that kids have to go to school starting at age 5. So I have to confirm here. Must be like you said about being very unusual not to go to kindergarten.

I feel little value from kindergarten here. Focuses too much on English.

Well there is a slight grey area concerning that because the semester starts in september, so there is an overlap in birthdates that are allowed. Same with many other countries, which is why you get the odd few students that are just a tad bit older or younger than the norm. But i was told the 6 year old thing too, for taiwanese kids. Seems home schooling ones still go through the education department, and you can certainly be assertive and insist if you happen to be in an area where the government drones like to give you a headache. Have met a number of parents that its worked out well and a few that have had problems with government people…but it is your right.

Not to start a thing, though it does seem to be the only thing i am good at here, you can probably get out of forced education by refusing the TB vaccination. Just putting it out there, not recommending it.

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Compulsory education is elementary and middle schools.

Articles 2 and 3 of Primary and Junior High School Act.

local people?