Gifted children may enter elementary school at age 5: MOE


TAIPEI–Gifted children who have high intelligence quotients (IQs) or display unusual abilities in artistic, creative, or physical areas, may be allowed to enter elementary school at the age of 5 instead of 6, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said Sunday.

At present, elementary schools in some cities and counties in Taiwan accept gifted children at the age of 5, while those in other cities and counties do not, insisting that children must reach 6 before they can be admitted, officials from the Special Education Unit under the MOE noted. The ministry has therefore decided to integrate two existing educational laws — an act governing school entry and study periods for gifted students and an act governing special education — and allow gifted students to legally begin elementary school at a younger age, according to the officials. Parents of gifted children can contact the special education committee in their respective cities and counties to obtain applications for early enrollment, the officials said. The integrated act, which is expected to be amended by March or April, will retain a stipulation that gifted students are only allowed to skip grades once in elementary school and once in junior high school, the officials said. The MOE maintains a limit on the number of times gifted students can jump grades on concern that if they move up too fast in school they may have difficulty assimilating into their classes. The revised act will also allow physically challenged students to attend school for an additional two years, the officials said.