Wednesday, March 20, 2013,
High Schools in Taiwan are much different from everywhere else in the world.
High School students are usually required to wear a school uniform. However, unlike Japan, these uniforms often aren't the cutest. They typically look like gym workout clothing. They have tennis shoes with long athletic pants and a general shirt, usually worn with their school sports jacket over it. The student's school ID number is usually embroidered on the outside of the shirt. Sometimes they have colors coordinating to what grade they are in, but often times there are only two colors, to distinguish girls from boys. I have been told that some high schools have a separate uniform that has a skirt, but I have never seen one! The tennis shoes that they have are typically chosen by the student and don't have to be any specific color, however there are also schools that do require a specific type or color of shoes.
As for studying, the schools are quite strict and the curriculum is rigorous, but not on the same level as Japan. My Chinese teacher told me that because Taiwan has an aging population, they are having trouble filling all of the schools, and so many schools have started giving "easier lives" to the students to try to keep them at their school. This might include easing up on rules and making the curriculum easier. However, this generally applies just to colleges.
High schools are typically for grades 10-12. There are two different kind of high schools, regular, and vocational. At vocational schools, students typically focus on a specific are of interest such as cooking, designing, or technology. However, this doesn't always mean that the student wanted to go to the vocational school because they are interested in what skills the school focuses on. My friends from vocational schools have told me that the reason they go to their vocational school is because their grades in middle school weren't good enough to get into a regular high school. This doesn't mean that they ease up on rules, though. Students at both regular and vocational high schools are (mostly, but not always) expected to go to school from 7:30 AM until 4:00 PM or 5:00 PM. Many students will go to cram schools after they get out of school.
Please look forward to another post about high school when I will explain more things about high school on a social level and other information.