|HOME SCHOOLING / INTERNATIONAL|
How to Homeschool In Taiwan
Homeschooling has been legal in Taiwan since June 24, 1999.
Taiwanese parents may homeschool their children from 1st through 9th grades on the condition that their lesson plans are approved by the local official Homeschool Committee (the approval rate is close to 95%). As of March 2010, families no longer need to re-submit an application to homeschool each year. Instead, they may apply once to homeschool their children for up to 9 years.
The Homeschool Committee usually reviews the student’s progress at the end of each semester. The Committee’s subsequent progress report may determine whether or not the student will be allowed to receive home education the following year.
Depending on the city or county of residency, homeschooled students may or may not be required to attend school for classes and/or tests.
Local schools maintain records of homeschool students in their respective jurisdictions and grant them diplomas just as they do for regular students.
In January 2010, Taipei city announced a 5-year trial program that hopefully will lead to positive changes for high school homeschool students. The trial program allows 15 to 17-year-old homeschoolers to register with a public or private high school in Taipei, upon satisfying school admission requirements, and receive high school diplomas upon satisfying the graduation requirements.
Children who hold foreign passports and have not established permanent residency in Taiwan may be homeschooled free from any governmental regulations. However, these students will not receive a diploma in Taiwan.
The Educational Fundamental Act (2006.12.27), the National Education Act (2010.1.27), and the Experimental High School Establishment Regulations (2007.5.14) govern homeschooling.
April 2010: Although homeschooling has been legal since 1999, local educational authorities have been reluctant to pass the necessary administrative procedures until recently. As of March 2010, 23 out of 25 local educational authorities in Taiwan have established administrative procedures for homeschool application. Parents living in Chaiyi City and Lianjian County (Matsu islands) still can not apply to homeschool their children legally as these two jurisdictions still have not set administrative procedures. In the remaining 23 counties and cities where local homeschooling regulations are in place, the regulations vary greatly. In some counties, the local government creates unreasonable if not impossible barriers to apply for homeschooling. While non-school type education (as homeschooling is legally known as in Taiwan) has been on statute since 2000, local governments have yet to pass the necessary regulation to allow high school homeschooling application.
July 2011: After three years of relentless lobbying efforts and media campaigning by homeschoolers in Taiwan, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education finally passed a regulation governing non-school type experimental education for upper secondary education. This regulation recognizes home educated students for their high school studies starting in September 2011. Homeschool students whose study plan has been approved by their local government's education bureau will be allowed to enter university providing they pass both the high school graduation equivalent test and the university entrance examination.
The law previously recognized home education only during the compulsory school attendance years of 6- to 15-years old. Since school attendance is not compulsory after age 15, the government had largely ignored the rights of home educated high school students in Taiwan.
For example, home educated high school students were not allowed to attend university until they were at least 20 years old and boys must first have served their military service beginning at age 18. In contrast, school-educated high school students could go to university at 18 years old and boys are exempt from the draft until they completed their college education.
Another piece of good news is that in June 2011 the Ministry of Education implemented a national guideline to protect the rights of homeschooling families after Taiwan’s congress, the Legislative Yuan, passed an amendment to the National Education Act in January 2010. These two pieces of legislation are the most significant breakthrough in Taiwan education regulatory environment since homeschooling was legalized 12 years ago.