Petition Calls for English Teachers to Be Allowed to Enter Taiwan | Taiwan News
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A group of foreign teachers has launched a petition calling on the head of the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), to allow foreign teachers to return to Taiwan.
On August 21, the Foreign Teachers Coalition (FTC) posted a petition on change.org that included a letter calling on Chen and other Health Ministry leaders to allow foreign teachers into the country as part of a travel ban imposed in March. 2020. The petitioners argue that allowing them entry will help Taiwan achieve its ambition of becoming a bilingual country by 2030 and provide a “diversity of perspectives” that would foster innovation in the country.
According to Zachary Ising, Ph.D. A candidate at West Chester University, the FTC was founded this summer in response to border restrictions put in place by the CECC. The organization is led by Oliver Ward, a British teacher from London.
Ising told Taiwan News that current border restrictions prevent many English teachers from entering Taiwan, with many teachers in the group waiting to travel to the country since May this year. He said the majority of the foreign teachers in the group are TEFL-certified teachers, fully vaccinated and licensed in their home countries.
He said the band members just want to fulfill their contracts, contribute to Taiwan’s competitive education system and enter the country legally. “We all have our work permits and are patiently awaiting entry clearance and visas to resume processing at TECO sites,” Ising said.
When asked what specific difficulties teachers had encountered, Ising said representative offices in Taiwan were closed to visa processing. He said that although teachers have valid work permits and all necessary documents, they cannot submit visa applications.
Ising said FTC members were surprised when the CECC announced it had agreed to a plan allowing 13,000 foreign students and some foreign professors to enter Taiwan via special entry permits this week. The plan does not include foreign teachers for public or private schools for grades K-12.
The open letter was co-signed by 58 private schools in Taiwan, and the petition has received over 200 signatures so far.
People wishing to view or sign the petition can do so at change.org.