Taiwan’s elementary enrollment to drop below 1M by 2029

Taiwan’s elementary enrollment to drop below 1M by 2029 (Shutterstock)
Taiwan’s elementary enrollment to drop below 1M by 2029 (Shutterstock)

TAIPEI (TVBS News) — Taiwan's Ministry of Education (MOE) projects a steady decline in the annual enrollment of elementary school students, estimating a drop below one million by the 2029 academic year.

The MOE's report on student number forecasts for each educational stage from the 2024 to 2039 academic year indicates that elementary school student numbers, which stood at approximately 1.235 million in 2024, will fall to 955,000 in 2029 and further decrease to 779,000 by 2039.

Junior high school enrollment is also expected to decline, from 546,000 in 2024 to 404,000 by 2039, an average yearly decrease of 8,900 students.The number of high school students isprojected to fall, too. Despite a brief increase from 600,000 in 2024 to 625,000 in 2029, the number is expected to dwindle to 421,000 by 2039, averaging an annual decrease of over 11,000 students.

Hou Chun-liang (侯俊良), chairman of the National Federation of Teachers' Unions, stated that the low birthrate impacts all stages of education. He suggested that the MOE could positively approach this national crisis by lowering student-teacher ratios and enhancing education quality through more substantial resource allocation.

Tsai Yi-ching (蔡宜靜), an official from the K-12 Education Administration, noted that despite a slight increase in births during the Year of the Dragon, the overall population continues to decrease.

In response to declining student numbers, the MOE plans to support small schools and cross-grade teaching, grant flexibility in class organization and teaching, improve teacher expertise and teaching quality, strengthen learning support, and promote school mergers or closures if necessary.

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