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Taiwan will be destroyed naturally . . .

 
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romanworld



Joined: 27 May 2008
Posts: 375

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:30 pm    Post subject: Taiwan will be destroyed naturally . . . Reply with quote

This very interesting article recently appeared in the South China Morning Post. Entitled 'Economic Fears Rise As Taiwan's Birth Rate Declines, it argues that "Taiwan will be destroyed naturally without even needing an enemy" if the population is not replenished:

Patricia Hsu, a 45-year-old public relations manager in Taipei, has been referred to as 'that old spinster' behind her back by some of her colleagues who are jealous of her excellent work performance.

'I was too busy studying and working when I was young and now I am well past the age to marry. I don't think I should find a guy to marry just for marriage's sake,' she said when asked why she remained single. 'After all, I lead a comfortable life and if I can't find my 'Mr Right', I shouldn't make myself miserable by getting just anyone as my husband.'

About 300 kilometres from Taipei, Tsai Yi-chung, a 28-year-old Kaohsiung-based courier company worker, said both he and his wife, a factory worker, did not want to have children. 'Together we make only NT$45,000 [HK$10,800] a month and we can't afford to raise children,' said Tsai, the only son in his family, meaning he has a duty to take care of his aged parents.

Hsu and Tsai are among many Taiwanese who either remain single or choose not to have children for various reasons, but their choices illustrate Taiwan's drastically declining birth rate.

'If this condition does not change, Taiwan will be destroyed naturally without even needing an enemy,' said Sun Te-hsiung, former chairman of the Population Association of Taiwan.

Sun's warning echoes growing concerns about the economic and social consequences of a low birth rate in Taiwan.

With the number of newborns at just 191,310 last year, down almost 4 per cent from 2008, Taiwan's birth rate slipped to a meagre 8.29 per 1,000 people.

In just half a century, the total fertility rate - the average number of children that will be born to a woman over her lifetime - has dropped dramatically from six in 1960 to 1.02 at the end of last year.

The rate is even lower than neighbouring South Korea, which has 1.2 newborns per woman, and Japan which has 1.4, according to government statistics.

Obstetric and paediatric hospitals are seeing their livelihoods slip away. The number of obstetric clinics has declined by about 130 a year over the past five years, and the number of paediatric wards has also dropped steadily, according to the island's Children's Health Care Association.

There are fears the quality of medical treatment for children will be affected.

'The cut in the number of paediatric wards means medical treatment for children will no longer be easily available in the future,' association chairman Dr Lee Hung-chang said.

The Health Ministry approved a quota of 240 resident paediatric doctors a year, but most hospitals could take only around 80, Lee said.

Instead of studying to become obstetricians or paediatricians, many medical school students simply choose the more popular plastic surgery as their major, dealing another serious blow to children's medicine, Lee said.

The low birth rate is also hitting children's care centres, kindergartens and primary schools.

According to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, 370 day-care and 186 after-school care centres, plus 98 kindergartens, had to close down in the last five years.

'We used to have around 250 to 300 students per semester but now we are left with fewer than 100,' said Yang Yi-yu, whose kindergarten in Taoyuan county is struggling to avoid going out of business, like many of its former competitors.

The decline in the birth rate has also resulted in a reduction in the average number of primary school pupils per teacher from 18.3 in 2004 to 16.1 last year. This is expected to force elementary and junior high schools to cut the number of classrooms in use by at least 1,000 in the next three years.

'Having fewer students means the suspension of classes and the lay-off of teachers,' said Liao Chun-jen, former vice-chairman of the National Teachers' Association.

As there will be 100,000 fewer students by 2021, according to the Education Ministry's estimate, 'many universities and colleges are bound to face financial problems because of the low birth rate impact', Education Minister Wu Ching-chi said. About 60 of Taiwan's 164 universities and colleges may be forced to shut down.

Once the domino effect kicks in, shops and other businesses relying on pupils will suffer - then housing and domestic consumption - as supply will far exceed demand, population experts warn. Taiwan's competitiveness in the global market would decline and this could affect the very survival of the island, they said.

Interior Vice-Minister Chien Tai-lang estimated that Taiwan's population, currently 23 million, could start falling after 2017. Economists say lost manpower or brainpower will hamper the island's ability to keep up with its industrialised Asian neighbours in 10 to 15 years.

'A sharp drop in the labour force could result in a massive decline in productivity, which would affect the economic and industrial development of Taiwan,' economist Wu Hui-lin said.

Another issue is that the lack of children raises the average age of the island's population. If nothing changes, each working person in Taiwan will have to support 1.5 retired elderly people by 2056 and half of the people would be well over 57 years old, said Professor Chen Kuan-jeng of the health care management department at Chang Gung University.

'This means the government would not only receive less revenue from individual income tax, but it would also have to spend more for the welfare of the elderly,' he said.


Full text may be found here:

http://www.scmp.com/article/716707/economic-fears-rise-taiwans-birth-rate-declines
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teacher4life



Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Posts: 121

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been planting my seed in many, many places. Population problem will be solved soon enough.
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KaiFeng



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 89
Location: At the top of the food chain.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascinating article, and reminds me of the US “baby bust” article recently appearing in The Wall Street Journal. One cannot dispute these numbers, certainly. Yet I would place an alternate spin on them. If people have fewer (or just one) kids, then they will be more inclined to invest more heavily (and generously) in their progeny. For well-marketed instructors, there will be savage opportunity in this demographic catastrophe. It’s similar to China, where affluent parents throw money at tennis/piano/test instructors for their kids, often around US$100 an hour. In China! So start working to differentiate yourself from the herd, and look for ways to network with your target market. Look for opportunity in everything.
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Taiwanease Guy



Joined: 23 Jan 2013
Posts: 11
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:35 am    Post subject: Re: Taiwan will be destroyed naturally . . . Reply with quote

romanworld wrote:
This very interesting article recently appeared in the South China Morning Post.

It's not that recent - it was published three years ago. But yeah, it's a serious problem.
Quote:
The low birth rate is also hitting children's care centres, kindergartens and primary schools.

According to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, 370 day-care and 186 after-school care centres, plus 98 kindergartens, had to close down in the last five years.

'We used to have around 250 to 300 students per semester but now we are left with fewer than 100,' said Yang Yi-yu, whose kindergarten in Taoyuan county is struggling to avoid going out of business, like many of its former competitors.

The decline in the birth rate has also resulted in a reduction in the average number of primary school pupils per teacher from 18.3 in 2004 to 16.1 last year. This is expected to force elementary and junior high schools to cut the number of classrooms in use by at least 1,000 in the next three years.

'Having fewer students means the suspension of classes and the lay-off of teachers,' said Liao Chun-jen, former vice-chairman of the National Teachers' Association.

As there will be 100,000 fewer students by 2021, according to the Education Ministry's estimate, 'many universities and colleges are bound to face financial problems because of the low birth rate impact', Education Minister Wu Ching-chi said. About 60 of Taiwan's 164 universities and colleges may be forced to shut down.

Once the domino effect kicks in, shops and other businesses relying on pupils will suffer - then housing and domestic consumption - as supply will far exceed demand, population experts warn. Taiwan's competitiveness in the global market would decline and this could affect the very survival of the island, they said.

This has already seriously affected the EFL industry here. Wages are pretty much the same as they were in the late 80s, but the exchange rate is much worse, and the cost of living is much higher. It's not good. Sad
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romanworld



Joined: 27 May 2008
Posts: 375

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Taiwan will be destroyed naturally . . . Reply with quote

Quote:
It's not that recent - it was published three years ago. But yeah, it's a serious problem.


Yeah, you're right. However the situation in the last 3 years has only gotten worse in Taiwan with the birth rate plummeting to an all time low. This article that just appeared in the Taipei Times is entitled, 'Hualien school with only 20 students faces merger.'

With a total of only 20 students, the fewest students of any elementary school in the country, Feng Hsin Elementary School in Fonglin Township (鳳林), Hualien County, is on the verge of being merged into a nearby school.
Located next to Provincial Highway No. 9 in an area mostly composed of Amis Aborigines, Feng Hsin has had increasing difficulty recruiting students after a lack of job opportunities in the region has led to high migration of its youth.
At present, the largest proportion — or five — of the school’s students are in the sixth grade, while the first to fifth grades consist of three students or less.
Last year, the school recruited only one new student.
The school’s small number of students has made it subject to a merger with other schools — mostly likely, Feng Lin Elementary School, which is only 1.5km away — particularly after the Hualien County Government’s recent promulgation of a set of regulations governing the integration of small-scale educational institutions in the county.
The regulations stipulate that schools with fewer than 50 students be prioritized for mergers.
Meanwhile, the school’s small number of students makes arranging group activities hard for teachers.
For instance, to play a “T-ball” game — a simplified form of baseball designed for children that requires two teams consisting of at least 10 players — teachers almost always have to join the game to reach the minimum required number of players.
Attributing the school’s low enrollment rate to its proximity to Feng Lin, Feng Hsin Elementary School principal Hsieh Ming-sheng (謝明生) said that most parents were inclined to send their children to Feng Lin, where two out of three new students in the region enrolled last year.
Hsieh said the school had held meetings with parents last year to deliberate on a possible merger and most of them understood the school’s situation.
“We will respect and adhere to whatever decisions made by the county government’s Department of Education in the future,” Hsieh said.


http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2013/03/01/2003556005
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killian



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 936
Location: fairmont city, illinois, USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ah, beautiful fenglin. nice place. but two schools so close together...
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do_japan



Joined: 12 Dec 2012
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, when the sun explodes, Taiwan will be completely destroyed. Such a fragile nation...
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romanworld



Joined: 27 May 2008
Posts: 375

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

do_japan wrote:
Such a fragile nation...


Nicely put. You may have added: In a fragile region . . .
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