Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) signed an agreement with Taiwan today as part of the U.S. – Taiwan Education Initiative. Taiwan Ambassador Bi-khim Hsiao and State Superintendent of Schools David L. Roach were joined by WVDE representatives and Taiwan education and government leaders to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the West Virginia Capitol Complex in Charleston.
Under the initiative and framework of the MOU between the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States on International Education Cooperation and West Virginia House Resolution 12, the parties agree to enhance mutual cooperative ties. This will be done by exploring exchange opportunities for Chinese- and English-language teachers and resources to better serve language programs in mutual schools, universities and other institutions.
West Virginia K-12 schools benefit from the opportunity to bring teachers from Taiwan to not only teach Chinese but to also offer important cultural insight.
The U.S. Department of State has recognized Chinese as one of the 15 languages deemed crucial to national economic competitiveness and security. Prior to the agreement, other national organizations offered educator exchange initiatives, however, some of those no longer exist. West Virginia University, recognizing the void, coordinated with the Ministry of Education of Taiwan to revive efforts, resulting in three educators now teaching in Monongalia County Schools. The MOU with the WVDE will strengthen ties with Taiwan to support expansion of the study of Chinese language and culture in West Virginia schools.
“These educators offer rich learning environments and a perspective that is of great benefit to our students,” said Superintendent Roach. “We hope teachers from Taiwan take advantage of this program and come to West Virginia because we believe these types of opportunities are as rewarding for the teachers as it is for our children.”
The WVDE and the Taiwan Ministry of Education will form work groups that will communicate and plan closely throughout the first year to ensure the initiative is implemented according to the MOU.
For media inquiries, contact Christy Day, West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications, at 304-558-2699 or Christy.Day@k12.wv.us.