Go TO Content

Control Yuan investigates case regarding remote area students traveling afar for education

  • PostDate:2020-01-21

Though the 12-year Basic Education system came into effect in August 2014 (an extension of the nine-year Compulsory Education in place since 1968), students living in remote areas with no junior or senior high schools nearby have to travel afar for education; thus, the costs of transportation, as well as room and board, can become a heavy burden for parents. The Control Yuan (CY) thus launched an investigation to ensure the right to education.
The investigation found that despite the Basic Education system having long been implemented, to this day, there continue to exist cases of students not attending or dropping out of school due to inconvenient access to schooling. The Ministry of Education’s (MOE) Educational Priority Area Plan subsidized vehicle and transportation costs for some time, yet the targets of the plan’s subsidies are schools in remote areas and do not include students from remote areas studying at schools elsewhere. As a result, educational difficulties due to transport inconvenience remain an issue.
The CY investigation found that some students must leave home to pursue their education, living in school dormitories, rentals, or placement facilities, or with relatives, civil society organizations, and such due to transport inconvenience. Such cases are incompatible with the goal of providing students easy access to education and include: students at downtown Junior High A arriving at school early due to bus schedules, creating a potential campus security hazard; students attending Junior High B from indigenous villages lacking transportation services; students from Village C having to leave home for education as the village lacks middle schools and the closest ones are inconveniently distant; students at Junior High D from mountainous areas being denied boarding services under relevant laws as the school is close to a train station, leading to students having to find rentals; and students at School E having to stay at a nearby nursing home as the school has no dormitory facilities.
After the CY’s investigation, the MOE has since the commencement of the 2018 academic year implemented an active survey into education accessibility for students, conducting surveys on a regular basis regarding students’ commutes to school and accommodation situations within the jurisdictions of each local government. The MOE is overseeing efforts to ensure that all local governments are fully aware of every student facing a transport disadvantage and of those living in remote areas, and to provide them with relevant assistance and follow-up guidance. If local governments are short of funds, the MOE will also provide funding assistance to ensure that every student’s right to education is protected.
The CY will conduct follow-up monitoring of the situation with the MOE to track improvements and ensure the right to education is protected.