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The Education Rush in Taiwan since the late 1940s
the Education Rush
Abstract This dissertation reviews sources both bases on official and personal records and researches which are related to the causes and effects of the Education Rush in Taiwan since the late 1940s. There are two perspectives from which the Education Rush is analyzed. Firstly, the Education Rush refers to a great activity and enthusiasm among common people for being admitted to higher schools, which eventually lead to better jobs, higher income, and even an elevated social status in the future. The effects of the Education Rush were substantial. The phenomenon dominated over generations. Its contribution towards human capital and economical development was praised. However, it also resulted in butter competition and pressure. People developed more sophisticated strategies of competition that were effective but anti-educational. Secondly, the government got involved in the Education Rush. The government took advantage of industrialization and economic growth rapidly during the latter half of the twentieth century and devoted itself to establishing schools so as to implement the equality of educational opportunity. The interaction between educational expansion attracted people to be educated and rising educational aspiration supported the education in contemporary Taiwan was evident. In fact, not only tradition but also modernization contributed to all that. The higher people’s educational aspirations were, the more serious the pressure of entering higher schools was. The government tried to solve the problem through various approaches including educational institution, examination system, entrance schemes, and educational reforms. Most of these educational reform policies during the past decades were not based on localized research but on general impressions, confused intentions, or foreign experiences. The government developed more sophisticated strategies of anti-competition, which were educational, or rather political or economical. However, it could not satisfy educational demand, reduce the pressure of entering higher schools, or improve the quality of education. The Education Rush is not an action of fanaticism but of instrument rationality. It starts from credentialism and gradually gets entangled with the educational institution, examination system, and entrance schemes. Hence, it seems endless. If we are to reduce negative effects of the Education Rush, continuous educational reform is necessary. We must reflect on the educational value of that end, and enrich school life for students.
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