Taiwan's Educational Gap
The educational gap of Taiwan is not unheard of. According to the Programme for International Student Assessmment (PISA) administered by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (O.E.C.D), Taiwan ranks fourth in the world in test scores, ahead of the United States and many European countries. However, despite its remarkable performance, data indicates that 12.8% of students in Taiwan scored below the second level (out of seven), which is a percentage that surpasses that of its East Asian counterparts such as Japan and Hong Kong. Studies even indicate a 311-point-difference between those who scored in the top and bottom 10%, which is equivalent to a seven grade-level difference.
Why the Gap?
In 2014, Taiwan's Ministry of Education released "The Statistical Analysis of Education at All Levels", with figures indicating that the percentage of substitute teachers in rural areas comprises of more than 19%, surpassing the national average of 14.1%. Furthermore, teachers with a teaching experience of over five years makes up only 71.6%, falling quite short of the national average of 81.3%. There is more than enough evidence to suggest that the lack of stable and adequate educational resources in rural areas has led to the noticeable educational gap in Taiwan.