In his spacious office on the hillsope of Wenshan District, we met him again- the Professor Principal - Guo Chao-Yu, who headed a team of senior teachers to speak on an innovative English project - TOIEC for senior secondary one.
He looks like a scholar, speaks like a researcher,
and thinks like an entrepreneur.
"So what is the relationship between these three parties: I-learner, Nebula Group, and Hong Kong Reads?"
"How many passages have you got?"
"Are your materials aligned with international standardized tests?"
"How can you ensure that your students can learn effectively using the programs?"
"How many staff doe stour company have?"
"You are not making profit at all."
"What is the greatest strength of your program?"
"Your program may not meet the needs of Taiwan schools."
This is the first principal I have ever met that asked important questions directly, nude.
Yet he has the wisdom to differentiate, negotiate and courage to collaborate.
"The English curriculum in Taiwan schools is like this: 1 40-minute lesson per week for primary 1 and 2, 2 for Primary 3 and 4, and 3 for primary 5 and 6. In Taipei, 2 lessons for primary 1 and 2, and 3 lessons for primary 3 and 4. This is inadequate in equipping students the English proficiency required for the contemporary global citizens. Online learning is a solution."
"I am planning to enlist support of university to construct e-learning platform to complement after-school private tuition and formal school curriculum. I have already written a proposal, aiming at bridging students for Chengchi University."
"Seeing the progress in Korean, Chinese, and Singaporean education, I do have concern about children in Taiwan."
"People power can do what the government cannot do."
Then he ushered us to the conference room and we looked at the i-learner Reading program together. The Academic Head paid close attention to the voice over, comprehension, vocabulary and particularly the writing part. She was delighted with the design, just like all teacher users.
At 9.00 a.m when the scheduled administration meeting was about to start. He gave an order to his secretary, "Tell staff that the meeting will be postponed to 9.30."
Again, a series of questions were asked and then he said,
"I am impressed by the fact that your program provides a lot of resources - native English speaking teachers to us."