"Easier" Public Elementary Schools in Taipei

Lol public elemetary schools aren’t difficult at all. It only gets difficult in high school.

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I saw his post on LinkedIn about how happy he was that his daughter got admitted to Yale and someone else (an expat who’s been in Taiwan for like 84 years) immediately commented that Yale is a “woke factory” of a school :rofl:

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Your insight here is just heartbreakingly spot on. In public schools, the spark of curiosity, the desire to learn for learning’s sake, is systematically snuffed out.

One of the more rigorous among Taipei schools actually. The CLP program is completely distinct from the classroom/school life.

Hello @rampup82. Were you able to find a school that suited your children’s needs? I’m looking for a school for my 9y/o and have similar concerns.

That’s just you. There are many that have had their children complete their whole school education in Taiwan and also university. My son completed elementary school in Taiwan. One of my friends just moved to Australia so his children can finish Senior High school so they can attend university in Australia.


I have known a number of ‘foreign’ families over the years that willingly allowed their children to remain in public schools much longer than 4th grade.

I’ll repost an extreme example of a young woman with a foreign father who graduated from the elite Taipei First Girls High School and then went to Yale. I know of other students in similar backgrounds who went this high school and then college in Taiwan before going off to Silicon Valley to pursue what has so far been a highly succesful career.

There are many other cases with varying outcome. Some were great, some awful, most in the middle as one would expect. A great deal depends on the child, the school, and the parents ideas about the importance of education and what kind.

Something like 65% of foreigners in Taiwan not from East/SE Asia live in northern Taiwan especially Taipei. They are much more likely to encounter schools that impose extremely high academic standards and pressure at the behest of tiger parents. Many students, Taiwanese and otherwise, are simply not able to thrive in this environment although some obviously do.

Things are very different in an ordinary public junior high school or high school in Chiayi County (for example).

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If you think the schools in Taipei are tough, try going to school in Hong Kong.

My family moved from the US to HK when I was a kid, and I certainly stayed in local schools past the fourth grade! In fact, I was accepted into the most competitive local school in HK and stayed until my junior year of high school. I only transferred to an international school when we moved again to another country.

I find it funny when people move to the nation’s capital and look for less competitive schools. Would you move to Taipei and ask where all the laid-back companies are?

If you want to enjoy the benefits of living in a large competitive city, then you need to put out and sacrifice some work-life balance. You can’t have it both ways.

Why is this an extreme example? Dad is a successful lawyer and mom is a brilliant tiger mom. Wonderful family btw, with a flob connection. :wink:

It’s not surprising at all that E is doing so well. The narrative the media put up downplays the obvious.

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Would you move to Taipei and ask where all the laid-back companies are?

I mean, I would. At this point in my life, I don’t need to work for the TSMC’s of the world. I don’t need the prestige and high salary, but a better work-life balance. There are companies with different work cultures, just like there are public schools with different levels of intensity.

By the way, I did find a less competitive public school here in Taipei. We are very happy there. :slight_smile:

I’d say that a little girl in Taiwan who enjoys reading in her free time instead of going on TikTok is a pretty extreme example!

Must be nice, having a hobby that also happens to help you get good grades in school. If I went to a school that graded me based on my hobbies, I’d be in Yale too!

She has very supportive parents who raised her well.

I just met a former student of mine from Ying Ge for coffee. She also read a lot in class. Introvert. She now has a masters degree in chemical sciences and is working for a PR firm that contracts with a government agency. She’s bilingual and looking to move on to a great job here or overseas.

So, I’m going with not so extreme. :man_shrugging:. But I won’t argue. It’s very early.

Your point is a good one. Nonetheless, while I’m not so sure about companies, there is both healthy demand for and a supply of alternative public and private education in Taipei including less-competitive low pressure schools.

The problem is that the public school in your neighborhood may or may not be highly competitive. The worst are the traditional private schools. I have heard that there is a real tension in the international schools between some Taiwanese parents who want those schools to deliver an education up to the very high standards at elite Taiwanese public schools and other parents who would prefer something less intense for their children.

I just meant that the outcome was extremely succesful by conventional standards.

The report makes it clear that she comes from a family with a lot of cultural capital by noting that her grandfather is a distinguished academic.

The report follows a very standard template for ‘outstanding student stories’ by emphasizing that she did not go to buxiban, that her parents did not overly interfere in her schoolwork, and that she loves reading. These are standard features of stories about kids get into highly prestigious medical schools in Taiwan. I believe that the media emphasizes these aspects because they are trying to persuade more ordinary parents that their kids can get into good schools without high pressure methods. I do not think they mean to downplay the important role of the parents.

While I do not at all agree with the mother’s idea that Chinese is somehow more difficult than English, her commitment to ensure that her daughter was literate in Chinese is impressive and important. In my opinion, foreign parents should heed their example. It’s very sad that too many children grow up in Taiwan and are citizens but cannot properly use Chinese. It’s even wose that some parents, Taiwanese and otherwise, do not understand how critical Chinese is to being able to function properly in Taiwanese society and how rewarding a subject that it is in so many other ways.

It is the Latin and Greek of the East Asian world as well as the foundation of aesthetics in its written form. Unlike the classics in European-derived societies, Chinese is far more accessible to the ordinary person. Why let your child miss out?

That’s the narrative. :laughing:

Anyway, I’ve very happy for all of them, but I do think that many kids are like this, mixed kids and Taiwanese and aboriginal. They lack the narrative and the platform.

I’ve never met anyone who grew up in Taiwan from a young age who doesn’t speak Chinese. It’s mandatory in local schools, and also mandatory in all of the international schools that I know of, at least to some degree — Of course, older kids who move to Taiwan with zero Chinese will take CSL classes, but I wouldn’t consider them someone who “grew up in Taiwan”.

I do believe also that economic circumstances help too. Where the family is not stressed over finances and their kids can choose what they want to be is also important. I never sent my son to cram schools or summer schools that parents sent their kids to to keep up with the next years curriculum. I was also not concerned if my son when to university.

He actually told me that from the “English” teaching foreigners he had met that he wanted to have a “professional” occupation and he would never want to be a cram school teacher lol

I have friends where parentage is foreign parent and Taiwan parent. Some have excelled academically and I know others who had kids that really did not do so well here in Taiwan at school. Some like my son did both local and international school in Taiwan.

Did he have it easier? Maybe.
I’d say most parents want their kids to do well in school.

I have although I agree it is somewhat unusual for someone not to speak any Chinese. It does happen though. The international schools may teach Chinese as a subject but they don’t do it very well.

And I’m not talking about being able to speak Mandarin to a certain degree. If you grow up here, you should be fluent in spoken Mandarin and reasonably literate in the written language. Otherwise your teachers and parents have failed you in most cases (there are special circumstances).

A lot of the problem has to do with Taiwan’s failure to de-colonize.

Interesting. And they grew up in Taiwan 100%? Or did they only live here for part of their childhood?

Really? I can’t speak for all international schools but the one where I used to work in Kaohsiung hired Taiwanese teachers who had previously taught Chinese at local schools, and they used the same curriculum as local schools. All of their students spoke Chinese fluently, except for those who didn’t grow up here.

Well my son fluent in Taiwanese and Mandarin speaking wise. Not so much for written Chinese as he went to American school for Jnr Snr high school. As he lives in Australia and does well there I would not say I failed him as a parent. But would he bother to stay and work in Taiwan… no.