Allow foreign teachers to enter Taiwan.
Allow foreign teachers to enter Taiwan.
We are using this petition as a way for people to sign an open letter to Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, who is also the head of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), to open the visa process and to allow foreign teachers to enter Taiwan.
Please read the open letter below:
Dear Minister Chen Shih-chung, Political Deputy Minister Hsueh Jui-yuan, Political Deputy Minister Lee, Li-Feng and Administrative Deputy Minister Shi Chong-liang,
親愛的 陳時中部長,衛福部政務次長 薛瑞元 , 衛福部政務次長 李麗芬, 衛福部常務次長 石崇良
We are writing to you on behalf of all foreign teachers seeking employment in Taiwan. As English instructors, we share Taiwan’s national ambitions to become a bilingual country by 2030, and our role is to facilitate this significant goal through student-centered education. We as foreign educators come from a variety of academic and cultural backgrounds. Such diversity will not only strengthen the quality of education in Taiwan, but will also serve to bolster Taiwan’s future leaders, scientists and innovators. Thus, our role in Taiwan’s future is twofold: first we help fulfill the goal of a bilingual Taiwan, and second, we provide valuable diversity of perspective which in turn provides for future innovation in Taiwan.
我們代表所有在台灣求職的外籍教師寫信給您。作為英語教師，我們與台灣在 2030 年成為雙語國家的國家抱負相同，我們的職責是通過以學生為中心的教育來促進這一重要目標。我們作為外國教育工作者來自不同的學術和文化背景。這種多樣性不僅將加強台灣的教育質量，還將有助於支持台灣未來的領導者、科學家和創新者。因此，我們在台灣未來的角色是雙重的：首先我們幫助實現雙語台灣的目標，其次我們提供寶貴的多元化視角，進而為台灣未來的創新提供支持。
As educators, we are very pleased to have seen the movement made by the Ministry of Education and the CECC to help Huayu Enrichment Scholarship recipients to enter the country and pursue their studies. To us, this demonstrates the Taiwanese value for and commitment to education. We realize the importance of education to Taiwanese society both culturally and politically, and are encouraged by this decision. We are now kindly requesting that the CECC consider the situation of Taiwan’s future educators in the commencement of their work in the country. The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the United States and Taiwan, along with the Letter of Intent between Taiwan and the UK both rely on an uninterrupted source of English language experts entering the country. If Taiwan wishes to achieve their 2030 language learning goals, it is paramount that they allow educators to enter the country as soon as possible now that the Covid-19 outbreak is under control.
作為教育工作者，我們很高興看到教育部和CECC為幫助華宇升學獎學金獲得者進入國內學習而採取的行動。對我們來說，這表示台灣人對教育的重視和承諾。我們意識到教育在文化和政治上對台灣社會的重要性，並對這一決定感到鼓舞。我們現在懇請CECC考慮台灣未來教育工作者在該國開展工作的情況。美國和台灣簽署的諒解備忘錄以及台灣和英國之間的意向書都依賴於不間斷的英語語言專家進入該國。如果台灣希望實現 2030 年的語言學習目標，那麼在 Covid-19 疫情得以控制的情況下，讓教育工作者盡快進入台灣將會是至關重要的事。
Taiwan’s commitment to the health and safety of its citizens has turned this island nation into a model for success in dealing with global pandemics. Furthermore, this has been accomplished within a democratic framework without resorting to authoritarianism or significant government overreach. To us, these ideals for a balance between personal freedom and public safety are paramount. In this commitment to the safety and success of the Taiwanese people, we strongly believe we share a common goal.
While new Covid-19 variants such as Delta pose uncertainty for the future, all those who are signing this letter understand the need for and are willing to comply with strict Covid-19 regulations, such as vaccination, quarantine measures, four Covid-19 tests at different stages of the quarantine period, a period of self-health management, and any other measures the CECC deems necessary. The wider availability of vaccines overseas, coupled with these extensive quarantine measures, significantly mitigate the risk of exposure and spread of the virus domestically, as evidenced by over a year of implementing such measures. That being said, we understand that even with such measures in place there remains a risk of Covid-19 transmission. However, we believe that the value of education far outweighs these minute risks. Indeed, the risk of indefinitely suspending new foreign educators from entering Taiwan presents a higher possibility of long-term damage to Taiwanese education, both to students as well as to local teachers and staff.
儘管 Delta 等新的 Covid-19 變種病毒對未來構成了不確定性，但所有簽署這封信的人都理解並願意遵守嚴格的 Covid-19 規定，例如疫苗接種、檢疫措施、四次 Covid-19 測試在隔離期的不同階段，自我健康管理期以及CECC認為必要的任何其他措施。海外疫苗的更廣泛供應，加上這些廣泛的隔離措施，顯著降低了病毒在國內的暴露和傳播風險，實施此類措施一年多就證明了這一點。話雖如此，我們知道即使採取了此類措施，Covid-19 傳播的風險仍然存在。然而，我們認為教育的價值遠遠超過這些微小的風險。事實上，無限期暫停新的外國教育者進入台灣的風險對台灣教育造成長期損害的可能性更大，無論是對學生還是對當地教師和工作人員。
Foreign labor, especially in the education sector, is extremely important for Taiwan’s economy. Approximately 70% of parents in Taiwan send their children to cram schools, while a majority of households include parents who both are employed full time. This means that parents who send their children to these cram schools will not need to interrupt their day to pick-up their children. This in turn helps maintain an efficient work force and provides a significant contribution to the Taiwanese economy. If cram schools continue to face staffing shortages, this could lead to interruptions in other industries as parents will be unable to work.
外籍勞工，尤其是教育領域的外勞，對台灣經濟極為重要。台灣約有 70% 的父母將孩子送到補習班，而大多數家庭中的父母都是全職工作。這意味著將孩子送到這些補習班的父母將不需要中斷他們的一天來接送孩子。這反過來有助於保持高效的勞動力，並為台灣經濟做出重大貢獻。如果補習班繼續面臨人員短缺，這可能會導致其他行業的中斷，因為家長將無法工作。
Additionally, Taiwanese co-teachers have had to increase their workload to deal with the lack of English teachers, juggling homework, lesson planning, and leading classes usually taught by native speakers. This is placing an unprecedented burden on the shoulders of co-teachers and is ultimately doing harm to the industry. Such a strain on the local teachers without adequate training and preparation can only result in damage to the quality of education in Taiwan. Although this impact may not be immediately visible, we believe that both students and teaching staff will suffer tremendously in English education the longer teachers are prevented from fulfilling their teaching contracts. If this freeze continues for too long, we fear that the highest qualified educators will be forced to seek employment in other areas of Asia or in our home countries, which will only serve to further isolate and damage the diplomatic position of Taiwan.
To summarize our position, we believe that the visa freeze measures which currently make it impossible for new teachers to enter Taiwan harms the country not only from an economic standpoint, but from an educational and global standpoint as well. Taiwan has
long been considered a front-runner in the race for globalization, but if the borders remain closed for long, Taiwan runs the risk of losing quality educators to competing countries. Protecting Taiwan need not come at the cost of effectively educating its people in English and other foreign languages, and we hope that the Minister and the CECC can come to share this view.
We thank you for taking the time to read our letter, and we urge you to think about the long-term impacts of your decision on this matter.
Teachers around the world 來自世界各地的教師
cram schools of Taiwan: 台灣的補習班：
Foreign Teachers Coalition 外籍教師聯盟