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Taiwan’s New Homeschooling Law

The Legislative Yuan passed a new homeschooling law on 4 November 2014, marking a new chapter in the protection of parental choice in education in Taiwan. The new law's official title is the Law for Non-School Mode of Experimental Education for Senior Secondary Education and Below (hereinafter the non-school law). The non-school law defines a non-school mode of education as being not for profit, not in school, and using an experimental curriculum. This includes individual, group, and institutional types of non-school education. Individual non-school education covers children learning at home or elsewhere. Group non-school education covers 3 to 30 children learning together at the same place and at the same time. Institutional non-school education covers not-for-profit corporations teaching up to 250 elementary students and junior secondary students, and up to 125 senior secondary students.

Parents should apply no later than April 30 or October 31 each year to the city or county government of their residence by submitting an application form and a proposal outlining the objectives, method, and content (curriculum, assessment, facilities, and equipment used) of the education, as well as the expected outcomes and background information of the people involved in the child's education.

Parents may apply to do homeschooling for up to six years of elementary education, three years of junior secondary education, and three years of senior secondary education. The senior secondary education stage may be extended by two years if necessary.

Applications are evaluated by the non-school education committee of each city or county, of which at least two fifths of the members must be non-school education parents or representatives of non-school education associations.

When reviewing applications, the committee gives consideration to:
  1. Protecting the right of students to education and the parental right of educational choice; respecting cultural and religious diversity.
  2. The proposal being reasonable, doable, and in compliance with Section 1of Article 8 of the non-school law.
  3. Expected outcomes.

Article 8 states that the concept of non-school education must be student-centered and respect cultural diversity, religious beliefs, and different talents and expertise. The courses, instruction, teaching materials, and assessment should lead to students meeting their learning objectives.

Despite being homeschooled, elementary and junior secondary non-school students still need to be registered under a district school, which performs an administrative function. This includes accepting applications and issuing a graduation certificate once the non-school student has satisfied the graduation requirements as outlined in the application proposal and approved by the review committee.

Senior secondary non-school students may choose to cooperate with a senior secondary school to receive a graduation certificate providing that they satisfy the graduation requirements as outlined in the cooperation plan approved by the review committee.

Non-school students choosing not to cooperate with a senior secondary school will be issued with student identity cards by the local competent authority so that they may enjoy the same rights and privileges as school students. Students who have completed three years of non-school education, and who have been issued with a completion certificate by the competent authority proving as much, are eligible to apply to study at university without first sitting those exams taken by their schooled peers.

Non-school students at the senior secondary education stage may receive government funding equivalent to that received by students attending private senior secondary schools.

The competent authority and school under which students are registered are obliged to provide necessary resources and assistance to indigenous and low-income non-school students, as well as to those with special education needs.

There are 2,760 students in Taiwan registered in non-school education in 2014:
2014 Academic Year Elementary
(age 6 -11)
Junior secondary
(age 12 -14)
Senior Secondary
(age 15 -17)
Total
Individual
831
300
126
1257
Group
472
153
61
686
Institutional
604
188
25
817
Total
1907
641
212
2760

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