Taipei, Jan. 18 (CNA) The Ministry of Education (MOE) will expand its recruitment of foreign English teachers for elementary and junior high schools in the 2022-2023 school year as part of Taiwan's efforts to become a bilingual country, it said Tuesday.
In a statement, the MOE said it has hired 81 foreign nationals to teach English in 16 smaller counties and cities around Taiwan every year since 2004 to build a better English-learning environment for students.
For the 2022-2023 school year, however, the number of foreign English teachers recruited will increase to 531, and some of them will be posted in Taiwan's six largest cities -- Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung -- the MOE said.
It gave no indication if the high level of recruitment would continue after 2022-2023 school year ends.
The ministry has commissioned National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) in Taipei and National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung to set up coordination centers in northern and southern Taiwan to help local governments maximize their English teaching resources.
The two coordination centers will also be responsible for working with universities around Taiwan to set up training programs for the teachers and make sure they do a good job, the MOE said.
Those interested in applying for the positions can register online at https://tfetp.epa.ntnu.edu.tw/, and candidates can also be recommended by members of the public, the MOE said.
Once an application is received, interviews will be arranged with candidates with the most potential, the MOE said, and hirings will be made until the 531 posts are filled.
The policy to make Taiwan bilingual by 2030 was initiated by Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) in 2018 when he served as premier. In June that year, Lai designated the "2030 Bilingual Country" plan as a major national policy.
The National Development Council (NDC), the top economic planning body in Taiwan, has said the government's "Bilingual Nation 2030" policy will help to boost the competitiveness of young people in Taiwan in the global job market and help them connect with the world.