Caring for the Educationally Disadvantaged
Invest Educational Resources; Eliminate Urban-and-rural Gap
The 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report points out that Taiwan tops all economies and countries in the academic performance disparity between the top and lower bottom students, and the lower bottom students' performance are deeply affected by their socio-economic background. Research on education in Taiwanese remote rural areas commissioned by the National Development Council in July 2016 also indicates that in Taiwan the educational gap between the urban and the rural continues to widen. Despite a series of reformative measures by the government, resources investing in the rural areas still evidently fall short, while corporate investment will help improve the overall educational environment.
Educational gap has resulted in various social costs and will require attention from all sides. While the causes of inequality are multiple and complex, the TSMC Foundation sponsors diverse educational support initiatives in order to respond to demands at various levels. The "Hope Reading" program encourages teachers of elementary and high schools within the system in the remote rural areas to create feature curriculum and promote reading and digital learning. "Teach For Taiwan (TFT)" calls for young people with a sense of mission and passion to teach full-time and make up for the lack of teachers in rural areas. "Junyi Academy" deploys technology to build a free and excellent educational platform for underprivileged students and to provide the teachers on the front line customized teaching tools that ease their teaching burden. Moreover, in order to eliminate the urban-rural gap, the TSMC Foundation has long been funding "TSMC Aesthetic Tour" and "TSMC Science Tour" and financing the Boyo Social Welfare Foundation's after-school programs, Rising Sun Scholarship of Tsing Hua University and Sunflower Scholarship of Central University.
Hope Reading 2.0
In response to the waves of digitalization, the TSMC Foundation reacts to the initiatives of "Hope Reading 2.0" project and provides digital carriers to schools which run the pilot projects, in stages. Apart from guiding pupils to learn programing languages with "Cloud Professor", "Hope Reading 2.0" further introduces digital learning system and encourages school kids to read. 545 participating children from 11 schools running pilot projects have read 10,000 recommended books in four months. The pupils at these schools have apparently formed a better reading culture.
Teach for Taiwan; Junyi Academy
A survey conducted by the Child Welfare League Foundation in 2017 points out that, apart from teaching, nearly 70 percent of the teachers in the remote rural areas have to be surrogate parents to perform family functions. Teachers have profound impact on school children from underprivileged background; however, schools in the remote areas often struggle to find qualified teachers. Therefore, the TSMC Foundation teams up with "Teach for Taiwan" and "Junyi Academy" to support young people with ideals and leadership to teach in the remote rural areas; moreover, the Foundation offers digital learning tools to ease the teachers' burden.
The TSMC Foundation supports the full-time teaching project proposed by "Teach for Taiwan". This project engages young people to devote themselves to teaching at elementary schools with teacher shortage in the remote rural areas and offers the recruits professional training and support system, channelling talents into the teaching scene. A total of 37 teachers were sent out into service in 2017, and five of them were sponsored by the TSMC foundation, each recruit receiving NT$300,000 and the foundation donated NT$1.5 million in total. As a result, we hope more underprivileged school children can enjoy quality education.
After a year's collaboration, so far Junyi Academy has accumulated 5,952 film clips, 28,257 exercise questions, and 800,000 users on its platform. Research has further discovered if a student logs on to the Junyi platform for 15 minutes per day, they can raise further 14.2 percentage level on their TASA score. This free and open cloud platform can assist the teachers to customize their teaching and help the children to achieve academic success.