According to the National Immigration Agency, as of 30 April 2014 there were 6,588 under-15 ARC holders in Taiwan. Furthermore, there were 209,784 primary and middle school students in academic year 2013 with at least one parent who was a foreign national. Those students were likely to have dual citizenship. Therefore they might have more options than their mono-citizenship classmates when it comes to education choices.
Traditionally foreign nationals or dual citizen kids go to one of the exclusive international schools in Taipei, Taichung or Kaohsiung. Recently, the trend has been moving towards sending kids to either a local state or private school following national curriculum or to homeschool.
Our dear friend Katrina Brown has written an excellent article on the background of homeschooling in Taiwan for May 2013 Volume 13 Issue 8 of Centered on Taipei. I will focus on things to consider when choosing to homeschool multinational kids in Taiwan.
Compulsory Education and Enrollment Law
According to Article 2 of Primary and Junior High School Act (國民教育法)
Citizens between 6 and 15 years of age (hereafter referred to as “school-age citizens”) shall receive primary and junior high school education. Citizens older than school age who have not received primary and junior high school education shall receive supplementary education.But are your children still Taiwanese citizens or nationals if they don't have a household registry(戶口)? The term "citizens" and "nationals" are used interchangeably when translating 國民 into English. According to Article 3 of Immigration Act (入出國及移民法)
Compulsory education and enrollment for school-age citizens shall be prescribed by law.
The terms used in the present Act are defined as follows:How about if your children do not even possess the ROC passport, are they still nationals? According to Article 2 of Nationality Act (國籍法)
1. Nationals: Nationals who reside in the Taiwan Area, have their permanent residence registered at a household registry and have the nationality of the Republic of China (hereafter to be called the State), or nationals without registered permanent residence in the Taiwan Area:
A person shall have the nationality of the ROC under any of the conditions provided by the following Subparagraphs:Therefore, theoretically if you or your spouse have Taiwanese nationality when your children were born, your children must compile with the Compulsory Education and Enrollment Law regardless what passports they are holding or if they have household registry in Taiwan or not.
1. His/her father or mother was a national of the ROC when he/she was born.
2. He/she was born after the death of his/her father or mother, and his/her father or mother was a national of the ROC at the time of death.
3. He/she was born in the territory of the ROC, and his/her parents can’t be ascertained or both were stateless persons.
4. He/she has undergone the naturalization process.
Preceding Subparagraph 1 and Subparagraph 2 shall also apply to the persons who were minors at the time of the amendment and promulgation of this Act.
However the Local Education Authority can only enforce the Compulsory Education and Enrollment Law to those who have their permanent residence registered at a household registry. So in reality, if your children has no household registry(i.e. they are on ARC), they will not be missed terribly if they don't go to school.
So why bother applying to homeschool in Taiwan? Wouldn't it be much easier just to tell the school the kids have left the country? How about leaving the country and return on a foreign passport?
I will explain in the next article why you should apply to homeschool your children in Taiwan?