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Mayor: Strengthening Global Education to Make Taiwan a Stronger Nation

Mayor and Israeli Representative Omer Caspi at the students’ art exhibitionThe opening ceremony for the Taipei and Israel Students’ Joint Art Exhibition 2021: An International Pen Pal Program took place in the first-floor lobby of Taipei City Hall on April 22. The day also marks the 2021 Earth Day.
During his address, the mayor noted that internationalization is a major direction for Taipei’s education policy. Since 2016, the city government has been working on a project comprising international pen pal exchanges for the city’s elementary and middle school students. The program encourages interactions with their foreign counterparts through written correspondence or the internet. The theme for this year’s pen pal program is “animal conservation.”
Ko also recalled his visit to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in February of 2019. He believes that Israel is the smartest nation in world, especially given its emphasis in startup education. With only a population of 9 million, the country boasts a large number of startups – even rivaling those of the entire EU.
After returning from the trip, the mayor immediately gave the green light for the exchange between Taipei’s Zhonglun Senior High School and Israel’s Ironi Zain School through the “Studying Abroad at Location” Project. In 2019, the city government allocated a budget of NT$100 million to subsidize international trips for over 9,000 students and faculty members to increase their international awareness.
The mayor pointed out that since the beginning of his administration, the city government has provided a special 10-year loan for students to enroll in masters and PhD programs abroad. In 2019, over 40,000 students from Japan chose Taiwan as the destination for their graduation trips as well.
At the end of his speech, he expressed his gratitude to Representative Omer Caspi of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei and TXI Center founder David Lin for their support of the international pen pal program.