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Teach in Public Schools
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Do You Support The New Public School, Foreign Teacher Scheme?
Yes
30%
 30%  [ 4 ]
No
53%
 53%  [ 7 ]
Undecided
15%
 15%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 13

Author Message
EOD



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 167
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2003 10:20 am    Post subject: That May Not Be So Bad Reply with quote

Agents are not goverment officials, they won't take nearly as big of a percentage as the Ministry of Education. It also would mean they would be hiring locally as well. That means more demand for ESL teachers and a pay raise. As the agents will be paying the teachers directly, a higher level of pay and quality teachers will result (maybe). It will also allow the local public school teachers to preserve some face as far as compensation.
I want to know how to become one of the agents, that sounds like a serious amount of money.
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ScottSommers



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 82
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2003 7:17 am    Post subject: Taiwan? Corruption? Nonesense! Reply with quote

For the last fiveteen years, I have lived in various countries in Asia. The last six of these have been spent in Taiwan. I have never seen the kind of corruption that is implied here. It simply does not exist as an everyday experience in Taiwan. I would like to know where the people making these posts get their rich and informed opinions about corruption in Taiwan. Personal experience? Tell me what happened please. The bibliographies of books on China that are posted here? Get serious, almost all these books are about the history of Mainland China before WWII.

Organized crime and political corruption is widespread all over the world. Organized crime rings circulate tons of drugs and huge numbers of prostitutes all over the developed world. Controlling contributes to political parties is an enormous problem all over the world; in France
http://www.transparency.org/working_papers/country/france_paper.html
Germany
http://www.worldpress.org/1001cover7.htm
not to mention that other very real country, Japan. International comparisons of corruption do not indicate that Taiwan is particularly bad
http://www.taiwan.com.au/Polieco/Industry/Blackgold/2001/0628a.html
http://www.transparency.org/pressreleases_archive/2002/2002.08.28.cpi.en.html

Despite rumours to the contary, I doubt that any but the higest placed foreign residents of Taiwan have experience with corruption or organized crime, particularly as it occurs in government services. Taiwan is an extremely safe, reasonable advanced country struggling with severe modernation and identity problems. Corruption continues to be a problem in some sectors of society, but no more so than in places such as South Africa, Italy, South Korea, or Greece. Most of what you see about corruption in Taiwan is simply hog wash written by foreign residents trying to exaggerate the romance in their lives.
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EOD



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 167
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 6:53 am    Post subject: So True Reply with quote

You are right of course Mr. Sommers, Taiwan is a highly developed and evolved democracy with the highest moral and ethical society in all of Asia. The brothels on every corner of every town and city filled with adolescent prostitutes are not what they seem. People in Taiwan don't sell their children, the government doesn't write laws for the express purpose of extorting money from the constituency..................
Take off your blinders, the only things in Taiwan that has evolved past third world standards are the locals bank accounts.
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ScottSommers



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 82
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 8:07 am    Post subject: I Think You Have Missed My Point Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply EOD, however, I am left wondering if you actually read the contents of my post.

Perhaps you're confusing something I said. I did not say that Taiwan was anything more than a devloping nation. My exact words (if you can see through the typos) were that "Taiwan is an extremely safe, reasonably advanced country struggling with severe modernization and identity problems." My point was that foreign residents posting on Dave's are full of comments about a corruption problem in Taiwan that they have never personally experienced. I doubt that anyone posting about this problem here even knows someone who has actually seen corruption occur. Much of what I read about corruption in everyday Taiwan sounds like the 'far-away-from-home' stories of young men whose lives are not quite as exciting as they'd hoped. For those who have lived in a country where corruption is really a serious problem during everyday life, it is a romantic thing to talk about.

Taiwan is hardly the only the only the place in the world where prostitution is highly visible. I am from Canada and there's a problem there. Some (although I am not one these people) would even say that in Taiwan, prostitution is conducted in a manner safer and cleaner for all involved since it can be conducted in a supervised manner.

As for selling children, I am not certain what you are referring to. While this is widely rumoured among my adult students, a thorough search of Yahoo for "Taiwan selling children" was unable to find anything that was meaningful. Perhaps you are confusing the situation in Taiwan with that in Mainland China where the selling of girls is a serious social problem. If you have any appropriate links or other sources you can correct me with, please let me know.

Taiwan is also not the only country in the world where underage prostitution and sexual exploitation of children is a problem. I think if you search the Internet, you will find a great deal of information on this problem in every highly modernized nation. In Taiwan, this problem is complicated by the involvement of aboriginal girls
http://www.safe4kids.org/reports/asia.htm
The issue of social problems among aboriginal Taiwanese is an altogether different issue, but probably closely related to the problems of aboriginals in Canada, the USA, and Japan.

To avoid any more confusion, I will sum up what this response. Taiwan has a large assortment of social problems. I think that many of these are not uniquely local or related to Taiwan's state of development. Corruption is not worse here than many other places in the world that are clearly modernized states. As anyone who has lived here knows, Taiwan is not a clearly modernized state. For some people, however, it can provide a safe place to live and work.
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ScottSommers



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 82
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 11:23 am    Post subject: Correction of a Typo Reply with quote

My typing and proofreading are worse than pathetic. I wrote,

"For those who have lived in a country where corruption is really a serious problem during everyday life, it is a romantic thing to talk about"

I should have written,

"For those who have lived in a country where corruption is really a serious problem during everyday life, it is NOT a romantic thing to talk about"
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Paul G



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 125
Location: China & USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There should be an "edit" button in the upper right hand corner of your messages once they are displayed.

Click on this button and you can make changes to your posts, correct typos, etc. Smile
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EOD



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 167
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2003 4:29 am    Post subject: Have You Ever Had an Accident? Reply with quote

Here is one of the most blatant forms of corruption I have seen. In the last two years hear in Taiwan I have had two vehicular accidents. They were both hit and run. They hit me and simply drove away. In both cases I wrote down the vehicle registration numbers.
This is what happened after the collision. I called the police, I tell them I want a FAP officer to take care of my case. Then a traffic control officer arrives and says I don't need the FAP, just give him the information. He takes it all down and after a few hours tells me to go home.
Later that night the same officer calls me and tells me to come down to his precinct, across town. He says he has already spoken with the driver and wants me to sign a statement I can't read. I write on the statement, that I can't read it and don't agree to anything. He then tells me the accident was a "no fault" accident and I will have to negotiate a settlement myself. End of story. No tickets are issued, I am not given a copy of any papers and no reporting number. Add to that the guy who ran a red light and hit me from behind isn't even given a ticket and refuses to pay anything.
Sound familiar, it has happened to me twice. That was the second time. The first time I was hit by a military vehicle without a license plate, full of drunk soldiers trying to cut me off to get to a beetle nut stand where a pre teenage girl was flashing them. Exact same result.
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ScottSommers



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 82
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2003 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having had such terrible things happen to you, I can understand your hard feelings. I can't understand why you would continue to live in a place where you have such bad luck.

I think I understand what our problem is. The word "corruption" does not refer to poorly designed, irregularly enforced laws. Or at least I can say that defining it that way has not been useful to any major discussion of the problem. Below, I have provided several links to what others usually refer to with the term

OECD
http://www1.oecd.org/daf/nocorruptionweb/Corruption/Definition.htm
World Bank
http://www.spea.indiana.edu/tac/colloquia/2001/pdf/Durupty%20Corruption%20Pittsburgh.pdf
'Lectric Law Library
http://www.lectlaw.com/def/c314.htm

Once again, I agree that the law is Taiwan is not regularly enforced and that foreign residents often end up on the short end of the stick. This is widely held as a problem in Japan, as well. Following the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security in the USA, it increasingly appears that this will also be the case there.

Really, I don't disagree with you. This is a serious problem in Taiwan, particularly concerning traffic laws and regulations. It is one of the barriers that the government has to face if they are to develop their nation more effectively. I suppose that it's no condolense that there are many far, far worse places and that the majority of foreign residents have probably never had such a series of bad experiences.
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Okami



Joined: 25 Jan 2003
Posts: 121
Location: Sunny Sanxia

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2003 2:28 pm    Post subject: Corruption?!?! There is know stinkin corruption! Reply with quote

No, there isn't any corruption in Taiwan. Not in anyway defined by western standards.

I mean when a police officer refuses to make out an accident report because the bonus for his police station would be jeopardized. This is not corruption.

When the Central Weather Bureau has to threaten news station to accurately report the weather. Such as:
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2002/09/10/167498
This is not corruption.

When video gambling parlours are are in the open everywhere in larger cities(except for Taipei, thanks A-bien). The police officers do nothing about it. this is not corruption.

When a person can make and sell pirated VCDs and CDs with little fear of being busted unless someone files a complaint with the local police. This is not corruption.

Taiwan has the laws, but not the will or diligence to actually do something about it. During Martial Law Era, the military police did the real police work. This is probably why they were involved with the recent bust in Taoyuan with video gambling parlors paying off local cops. The civilian police haven't really stepped up to fulfil their duties to the public. I can't really ever see it becoming a true police force. There are far too many perks to make it worthwhile to put in effect actual change with the police force.

The lack of will to do the right thing, when you know what the right thing to do is, is in my opinion a form of corruption. This the exact nature of the corruption in Taiwan. They will point this out to people for sympathy and/or for an excuse. Hence when the Taiwan delegation was brought to task about IPR violations, they pleaded that copyright laws were new to Chinese culture and could they please have some more time to work it out. Take in acct this and then understand the difference in enforcement between a no-Taiwanese copyright/patent holder and a Taiwanese copyright/patent holder. The Taiwanese copyright/patent holder only has to have his lawyer or someone from the company show his Taiwan documentation and chop. It's not this simple for foreign copyright/patent holders. They have to have legal documents drawn up in their country, translated, and endorsed by the local TECO office. Then they have to bring it in front of a judge and have an officer of the company present or sign it(this part I'm not sure of).

No corruption doesn't exist in Taiwan. Just a will to do what is right.

CYA
Okami
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ScottSommers



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 82
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2003 3:32 pm    Post subject: The Purpose of My Postings Reply with quote

I agree. Taiwan is full of Taiwanophilles who fill the pages of Dave's ESL Cafe with wonderful stories of how great life is here. My impression is that many of them are illegal backpacker-types, and I find their postings really annoying. Taiwan is a really harsh place to live. I hated the place for the longest time. A lot of bad things can happen. But recently on Dave's, there has appeared a picture of Taiwan; a cesspool of organized crime and corruption, an island populated by the darkest, most dishonest vermin ever to develop an internationally competative economy. This is simply not an accurate picture of life here. A picture of life in Taiwan that would be helpful for those interested in living and teaching here would not include long, rambling stories about corruption. Life for foreigners in Taiwan can in no way be confused with life in The Philippines, Vietnam, or even Thailand. Almost no foreign resident of Taiwan will ever see anything except neglect of the law (which I am belittleing, but it is not corruption), except in the English-language press, and to state otherwise is simply not true. You have to use common sense, but if you do, it can be fun and safe to live here.
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Aristotle



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1388
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2003 4:38 am    Post subject: I Disagree Reply with quote

I too have lived in Taiwan for a number of years. I have seen a definite change in the attitudes of the local population towards foreigners. In the past foreigners were the exception. If you had a traffic accident or were burgled, it was a matter for the Foreign Affairs Police. Recently the street cops have been treating incidents with foreigners as a golden goose. They will do anything they can to stop the Foreign Affairs Police from getting involved and extort large sums of money from the perceived perpetrators.
Another alarming trend is developing. As accountability becomes more and more standard, unknowing foreign residents are taking the blame for incidents they had no involvement in at all. Often times it is a good way for a local government official to get some attention from their superiors and not have to upset the local boss. There has also been an alarming increase in the number of assaults on women in the past two years. In some cases people have died under suspicious circumstances.
Things Are Changing in Taiwan
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ScottSommers



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 82
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2003 5:01 am    Post subject: This is True, But... Reply with quote

While I have no doubt that what you say is probably true, I have no experience with anything you talk about. You will have to give me more details about the incidents you're talking about. You describe "alarming trends" in the number of traffic acidents in which foreigns are tricked into taking responsibility. I don't even know how many such accidents foreigners are involved in, much less that the foreign participants would being "unknowingly" taking blame in any number greater than before. Are you sure your perception isn't being drawn from a few incidents that you know about personally? I am also wondering about the "alarming increase in the number of assaults on women in the past two years". I recently read in the Taipei Times about such an attack on a Canadian woman that was not treated professionally by local police. This is totally unacceptable. Are you aware of other incidents? I am just unsure of how you would have the information on which to base these kind of statemenst.
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EOD



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 167
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2003 5:54 pm    Post subject: Goverment Statistics Reply with quote

The vast majority of traffic accidents and burgleries in Taiwan are never officially reported, so they never happened. The only place in the world I can compare it to in similar numbers is latin America. The local people have a saying about it, it goes something like "write it down and you can't deny it" ( sorry I'm not a translator).
You also have to accept the fact that, in Taiwan, the person with the most money or power is always right, even when they are wrong.
That brings us back to the Foreign teachers being hired by the public schools directly. I cannot see how it could happen. There are few foreigners working for the goverment of Taiwan. Nearly all of them are employed by the military. All other branches of government hire through agencies on contract. That way the foreigner has no benefits and no official position. If a foreigner were to have a superior position to a local, they might do something about all the graft and bribery that is so commonplace in the Taiwanese civil service, particularly in the Ministry of Education. Accountability and integrity have the potential of unraveling the very fabric of the Chinese controlled society on Taiwan. Thus undermining the minority Chinese control, over the majority Taiwanese population.
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ScottSommers



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 82
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still not sure how everyone posting here knows about the vast crime wave that's sweeping Taiwan. It's probably true that many minor offenses go unreported, just as they do in Latin America. I doubt these are the only places such problems occur, and I have seen similar things in The Philippines and Vietnam. I personally have never had anything stolen from me either here, in South Korea or in Japan, although I suspect that one is less likely to get back lost possessions in Taiwan. There does seem to be some problem of kidnapping here. I still doubt that crime is a common occurance or even a major threat to most foreign residents.

You may find it difficult to believe the government would hire foreigners directly, but that is probably based on your lack of understanding of education in Taiwan. Many foreigners work directly for national universities with the exact same contract as their Chinese colleagues. I teach at a private school but am offered a contract identical to national university instructors and my Chinese colleagues. Unlike Western schools, we are supervised very heavily by the MOE. My appointment, promotion, and professional activites are moderated by the MOE, rather than my school. I am, in fact, a civil servant of the ROC. If one counts appointments at private schools, there would be several hundred foreigners teaching for the MOE at universities in Taiwan. Aside from the fact that it will almost certainly happen, I have no trouble understanding how foreigners could end up teaching in public schools.
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EOD



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 167
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2003 4:27 am    Post subject: Public Schools are Not UNIVERSITIES Reply with quote

The difference between public schools and universities are not limited to the curriculum or the students. The students and the curriculum may be where they have the most similarities.
Staff at public schools are hired directly by the Ministry of Education. Universities hire their staff directly. Public school employees are hired and trained by the Ministry of Education. They are also given civil service status and all that goes with it. University professors may get similiar benifits given to them by their respective universities.
If the Ministry of Education were going to allow public schools to hire foreign teachers independently like universities, that would be another matter altogether. It would garner wide support from all parties involved, except the officials at the Ministry of Education, for obvious reasons.
Taiwanese never do things right the first time. This program will fail, if it ever gets off the ground in the first place. That does not mean it is a bad idea. Patience and perseverance are what are needed to make this idea become a functional and effective reality.
Speaking from personnel experience, I would recommend that anyone with a genuine interest in teaching in public schools, should do so on a voluntary basis, outside of the Ministry of Education or agents. What I have done in the past is gone to a school I was interested in teaching at and offered my services free of charge.
EOD
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