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Taiwanese Government Mandates Limit on Children’s Tech Use

Education News – Sherlynn Summers

“Lawmakers in Taiwan have revised the Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act to regulate the amount of time children can spend using electronic devices. The new law provides the government the power to fine parents if they are unable to prevent their children from using electronic gadgets for “a period of time that is not reasonable,” writes Lee Seok Hwai of the Straits Times…The new legislation follows the line of rulings in China and South Korea which both promote a healthy level of gadget usage time. China continues to attempt to discourage excessive online gaming while South Korea has classified online games and e-sports as addictive substances. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a maximum of two hours daily of screen time for children. It also discouraged the set up of television and Internet access in children’s bedrooms…Child development psychologists continue to encourage more unstructured play time for children.”(more)

Losing focus: Why so many Chinese children wear glasses

The Economist – Staff Writer

“The incidence of myopia is high across East Asia, afflicting 80-90% of urban 18-year-olds in Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan…The biggest factor in short-sightedness is a lack of time spent outdoors…if a child has enough time in the open, they can study all they like and their eyesight should not suffer…” (more)

Be Careful What You Wish For

Education Next – Chester E. Finn, Jr.

“Taiwan (a.k.a. the Republic of China or Chinese Taipei) has much going for it in the education realm, particularly its sky-high results on international assessments, but it also has plenty of problems in this sphere. Some came as no great surprise when I visited.”(more)

Bright pupils ‘falling two years behind peers in Far East’

The Telegraph – Graeme Paton

“Figures show that the cleverest pupils often match the best performers in leading Far Eastern nations by the age of 10 in mathematics but then start to lose ground. By the time they reach 16, children are the equivalent of two years behind those in counties such as Hong Kong and Taiwan, it emerged.”(more)

Skills, not drills, for survival

The Sydney Morning Herald – Thomas Friedman

“I always tell my friends in Taiwan: ”You’re the luckiest people in the world. How did you get so lucky? You have no oil, no iron ore, no forests, no diamonds, no gold, just a few small deposits of coal and natural gas – and because of that you developed the habits and culture of honing your people’s skills, which turns out to be the most valuable and only truly renewable resource in the world today. How did you get so lucky?””(more)

Taiwan Hopes to Draw in More Foreign Students

Department of Education – Christopher F. Schuetze

“Taiwan’s government is hoping to more than double the number of visiting university students, to 95,000, by 2014, according to the statement, issued Thursday. The ultimate goal, it said, is for foreigners to make up about 7.5 percent of total students studying in Taiwan, a rate comparable with Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.”(more)