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Education and National Colonialism in Postwar Taiwan: The Paradoxical Use of Private Schools to Extend State Power, 1944–1966

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 July 2020

Abstract

After World War II, the colonial rule imposed by the Kuomintang (KMT) in Taiwan was symbiotically connected with its project of nation building. This project of “national colonialism” initially spurred the KMT to build an extensive public education system and to marginalize private schools. Financial concerns after 1954, however, forced the KMT to allow more private schools to open. As the role of private schools expanded, the state limited their resources and required that they follow state curricula, leading many private schools to come under the control of agents tied to the regime. Thus, schools that the colonizers initially sought to subdue ended up spreading ideologies that served the KMT. The case of Taiwan provides a perspective on colonialism and private schooling that suggests that private schooling under national colonialism differed from that under nonnational forms of colonial rule.

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Copyright © 2020 History of Education Society

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Footnotes

Note on transliteration: I have used the pinyin romanization system for the transliteration of Chinese text. I also used this system when Chinese names are mentioned in the text except for those that are familiar in the West. Thus, Chiang Kai-Shek, Kuomintang, and Taipei instead of Jiang Jieshi, Guomindang, and Taibei are used. I have placed family names before given names for names of Chinese and Taiwanese people.

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18 Tse-han Lai, Ramon H. Myers, and Wou Wei, A Tragic Beginning: The Taiwan Uprising of February 28, 1947 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1991), 61–62, 66. The KMT was the ruling party of the Republic of China during this period. After the war the KMT installed TPAEO as the administrative unit to govern Taiwan province; and after the February 28 Incidence in 1947, the TPAEO was replaced by the Taiwan Provincial Government (TPG). Before relocating to Taiwan, the central government of the Republic of China was based on Nanjing; after that, the capital was relocated to Taipei. In postwar Taiwan, there were two provincial governments under the central one—Taiwan Province (governed by the TPG) and Fujian Province).

19 Only four out of 154 graduates of the program were Taiwanese. See “Zhongyang xunliantuan Taiwan xingzhengganbu xunlianban tongxuelu” [Address Book of Schoolmates, the Taiwan Administration Cadres Training Class], April, 1947, in Chen, Guancang Minguo Taiwan Dangan Huibian, vol. 206, 54–70.

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21 Lai, Myers, and Wei, A Tragic Beginning, 71–73.

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23 He Qingqin, Guangfu Chuqi zhi Taiwan Jiaoyu [Education in Taiwan in the Early Years after Retrocession] (Tainan, Taiwan: Fuwen Tushu Chubanshe, 1980), 65–70.

24 Taiwansheng xinzhengzhangguangongshu jiaoyuchu, Taiwansheng guomin xuexiao ji zhongxin guomin xuexiao guanli guize [Regulations for the Management of National and Key National Schools in Taiwan Province] (Taipei, Taiwan: Taiwan Shudian, 1947), 1, 4–9.

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27 TPAEO to The Government of Taichung, March 24, 1947, Taiwan Provincial Government Records, National Archives, New Taipei City, Taiwan (hereafter cited as TPGNA) file 0036/332.1-3/1.

28 Taipei County Government to the Education Division, TPAEO, May 5, 1957, TPGNA file 0036/312.1.1/1.

29 “Taiwansheng gexianshi zhengdun silixiaoxue zhuyishixiang”[Guidelines for County and City Governments to Consolidate Control Over Private Primary Schools], undated, circa Aug. 1947, in Chen, Guancang Minguo Taiwan Dangan Huibian, vol. 267, 217–19.

30 Zhongyang Ribao [Central Daily], June 18, 1949, 3.

31 Phillips, Between Assimilation and Independence, 89.

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34 Huang, “Taiwan de yuyan yanjiu,” 39–40; and Masahiro Wakabayashi, Zhanhao taiwan zhengzhishi: zhonghuaminguo taiwanhua de lichen [Political History of Postwar Taiwan: The Taiwanization of the Republic of China], trans. Hong Yuru, et al. (Taipei, Taiwan: Taida chuban zhongxin, 2014), 88–89.

35 Zhongyang Ribao, June 4, 1950, 1.

36 Jiaoyu gaige gangyao caoan [Drafted Outline for Education Reform] (Taipei, Taiwan: Xingzhengyuan sheji weiyuanhui, 1951), 4–8. This policy-making body also recommended that higher education be provided by public national institutions.

37 Taiwansheng jiaoyufazhan shiliao huibian: gaozhong jiaoyu bian [Compiled Historical Materials on Taiwan Province's Education Development: Senior Middle Education] (Taichung, Taiwan: Shengli Taichung Tushuguan, 1985), 3; Taiwansheng jiaoyufazhan shiliao huibian: guomin jiaoyu bian [Compiled Historical Materials on Taiwan Province's Education Development: National Education] (Taichung, Taiwan: Shengli Taichung Tushuguan, 1984), 218–19.

38 Taiwansheng jiaoyufazhan shiliao huibian: guomin jiaoyu bian, 222.

39 Zhongyang Ribao, Aug. 30, 1952, 1.

40 Zhongyang Ribao, Aug. 13, 1952, 3; Zhongyang Ribao, Aug. 19, 1952, 3; and Zhongyang Ribao, Aug. 26, 1952, 3.

41 Zhongyang Ribao, Aug. 13 1952, 3; and Zhongyang Ribao, Aug. 29, 1952, 3.

42 Liao Caicong, “Guangfuhou yilai Taiwan di defang xuanju: gaishu” [Taiwan's Local Elections since Retrocession: An Overview], Taiwan wenxian jikan [Quarterly of Taiwan Literature] 37, no. 2 (June 1986), 137. The Yangming Mountain Administrative Bureau is a county-level governing unit covering Shihlin and Beitou in the Taipei area. It became a special zone in 1949 after Chiang Kai-shek established his residence there.

43 Tien, The Great Transition, 132.

44 “Linian gejizhengfu jingshouzhi gaikuangbiao” [A Summary of Revenues and Expenditures of Various Levels of Government over the Years], Zhonghuaminguo yilingwu niandu zhongyangzhengfu zongyusuan [The Budget of the Central Government, Republic of China, 2016] (Taipei, Taiwan: Xingzhengyuan zhujichu, 2017), 368–69.

45 Zhongyang Ribao, Oct. 17, 1952, 3.

46 Taiwan had two provincial governments in the 1950s, the TPG and the Fujian Provincial Government (FPG). The TPG ruled more than 95 percent of the land under the KMT, while only two clusters of tiny islands around Jinmen and Mazu—two offshore islands—were FPG-governed.

47 Mendel, Douglas H. Jr., The Politics of Formosan Nationalism (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1970), 49Google Scholar.

48 The TPG's income came from such sources as the monopolistic sale of tobacco and alcoholic beverages, sales taxes, and business license fees. Tien, The Great Transition, 132; and “Linian gejizhengfu jingshouzhi gaikuangbiao,” 372–73.

49 Taiwansheng jiaoyufazhan shiliao huibian: guomin jiaoyu bian, 476.

50 Zhongyang Ribao, Aug. 16, 1952, 3; and Zhongyang Ribao, Aug. 30, 1952, 1.

51 “Xianshili zhongxue shezhi banfa” [Rules and Regulations for Setting up Middle Schools in Counties and Cities], May 19, 1942, Taiwansheng jiaoyufazhan shiliao huibian: guomin jiaoyu bian, 343–44.

52 Most of the secondary schools (72 percent) operated by local authorities had only junior divisions at this time. Taiwansheng jiaoyufazhan shiliao huibian: gaozhong jiaoyu bian, 479.

53 Of the 332 additional classes, 70 were to be provided by provincial institutions and 20 by private institutions. Zhongyang Ribao, Oct. 18, 1952, 3.

54 Zhongyang Ribao, April 20, 1955, 4.

55 The government revenues at that level came mainly from miscellaneous taxes (such as vehicle, banquet, slaughter, and entertainment taxes) and subsidies from the TPG. Taiwansheng shuiwu gaiyao [A Brief Introduction to Taxations in Taiwan Province] (Taichung, Taiwan: Taiwansheng caizhengting, 1965); and “Linian gejizhengfu jingshouzhi gaikuangbiao,” 372–73.

56 Zhonghuaminguo nianjian, minguo sishisinian [Yearbook of the Republic of China, 1955], (Taipei, Taiwan: Zhounghuaminguo Nianjianshe, 1955), 703.

57 Taiwansheng jiaoyufazhan shiliao huibian: guomin jiaoyu bian, 476.

58 Zhonghuaminguo jiaoyu gaikuang [Education in the Republic of China: An Overview] (Taipei, Taiwan: Zhonghuaminguo Jiaoyubu, 1970), 36.

59 Taiwansheng linshi shengyihui gongbao [Bulletin of the Provisional Assembly of Taiwan Province] 1, no. 3 (Jan. 27, 1953), 156–57; Taiwansheng linshi shengyihui gongbao 1, no. 4 (Feb. 3, 1953), 229; and Taiwansheng linshi shengyihui gongbao 3, no. 1 (Jan. 5, 1954), 1288.

60 Taiwansheng linshi shengyihui gongbao 5, no. 9 (March 1, 1955), 3281–82.

61 Disanci zhongguo jiaoyu nianjian, shangce, 76.

62 Zhongyang Ribao, Jan. 31, 1951, 4; and Zhongyang Ribao, Aug. 30, 1951, 3.

63 Disanci zhongguo jiaoyu nianjian, shangce, 78; “Taiwansheng sili zhongdengxuexiao guanli guize (1948)” [Regulations for Private Secondary Schools in Taiwan Province, 1948], Taiwansheng jiaoyufazhan shiliao huibian: gaozhong jiaoyu bian, 66–7.

64 Taiwansheng jiaoyufazhan shiliao huibian: gaozhong jiaoyu bian, 2–3.

65 Zhongyang Ribao, Aug. 19, 1952, 3.

66 Zhonghuaminguo jiaoyu gaikuang, 36.

67 Taiwansheng linshi shengyihui gongbao 5, no. 9 (March 1, 1955), 3286–7; Taiwansheng linshi shengyihui gongbao, 5, no. 10 (March 8, 1955), 3453; Taiwansheng linshi shengyihui gongbao 5, no. 14 (April 5, 1955), 3727; and Taiwansheng linshi shengyihui gongbao 6, no. 8 (Aug. 23, 1955), 4707.

68 Zhongyang Ribao, Sept. 5, 1954, 3.

69 Sili zhongdengxuexiao fuzeren zuotanhui jilu [Minutes, a Meeting with Representatives from Private Middle Schools], May 10, 1947, TPGNA file 0036/312.1.1/1.

70 Zhongyang Ribao, Sept. 5, 1954, 3.

71 Department of Education, Taiwan Provincial Government Records, Wufeng, Taichung, Central Region Office, Ministry of Education, Taiwan (herafter cited as DETPG) files 0043/312.1.2/1, 0043/312.1.2/2, and 0043/312.1.2/3.

72 Zhongyang Ribao, Sept. 25, 1955, 4.

73 Zhongyang Ribao, Sept. 13, 1955, 4. Private academic middle schools charged each student NT$150 per head per semester two years earlier, in 1953. Zhongyang Ribao, Nov. 25, 1953, 3.

74 Disanci zhongguo jiaoyu nianjian, shangce, 81; Zhengxin Xinwenbao [Credit Newspaper], Aug. 19, 1955, 1; and Zhongyang Ribao, Nov. 5, 1955, 4.

75 Zhongyang Ribao, May 31, 1956, 4; and Zhongyang Ribao, July 17, 1957, 4.

76 Taiwansheng jiaoyufazhan shiliao huibian: gaozhong jiaoyu bian, 479.

77 Taiwansheng jiaoyufazhan shiliao huibian: guomin jiaoyu bian, 219–20.

78 Zhongyang Ribao, July 16, 1957, 4; and Zhongyang Ribao, Dec. 15, 1957, 4.

79 Zhongyang Ribao, July 12, 1956, 4.

80 Zhongyang Ribao, Jan. 5, 1958, 4; and Zhongyang Ribao, Jan. 15, 1960, 3.

81 Zhu Xuechun, Taiwansheng jiaoyu gaijin zhi yanjiu [To Improve Taiwan Province's Education: A Study] (Taipei, Taiwan: Zhongyang weiyaunhui sheji kaohe weiyuanhui, 1958), 8–9.

82 Before that, only well-run private schools that had been registered with the education authorities for at least three years—but not new schools—were allowed to obtain public land and properties.

83 Zhongyang Ribao, March 10, 1959, 5.

84 Zhongyang Ribao, March 13, 1959, 5.

85 Zhongyang Ribao, Nov. 6, 1960, 5; Zhongyang Ribao, Dec. 16, 1961, 4; and Zhongyang Ribao, March 5, 1963, 4.

86 Zhengxin Xinwenbao, Dec. 4, 1957, 3.

87 Zhengxin Xinwenbao, Dec. 12, 1959, 3.

88 Zhengxin Xinwenbao, May 19, 1960, 2; and Zhengxin Xinwenbao, Sept. 4, 1960, 2.

89 Taiwansheng jiaoyufazhan shiliao huibian: gaozhong jiaoyu bian, 479–80.

90 Taiwansheng jiaoyufazhan shiliao huibian: guomin jiaoyu bian, 476.

91 Zhongyang Ribao, Sept. 5, 1954, 3.

92 For instance, in 1967, when each student in the senior grades of private secondary schools paid NT$480 per semester, their peers in the public sector, with the state reportedly financing each of them at about NT$750 per term, paid only NT$60 per head. Zhengxin Xinwenbao, Aug. 16, 1967, 2; and Zhengxin Xinwenbao, Dec. 9, 1967, 2.

93 Zhongyang Ribao, March 31, 1974, 4.

94 Zhongyang Ribao, Dec. 28, 1969, 4; Zhengxin Xinwenbao, May 24, 1963, 2; and DETPG, file 0057/074.4.1/1.

95 Information on these ten schools is from Chen, ed., Guancang Minguo Taiwan Dangan Huibian, vol. 222, 149–150; vol. 231, 137–139, 168–170; vol. 248, 121–123, 189–191; vol. 256, 314–316, 344–346; vol. 260, 141–143, 155–157; and vol. 270, 229.

96 Data on these forty-six schools is from DETPG files 0043/312.1.2/1, 0043/312.1.2/2, 0043/312.1.2/3, 0048/312.1.2/2, 0048/312.1.2/3, 0048/312.1.2/5, 0048/312.1.2/8, 0049/312.1.2/7, 0050/312.1.4/1, 0050/312.1.4/2, 0050/312.1.4/7, 0050/312.1.4/8, 0050/312.1.4/9, 0050/312.1.4/11, 0050/312.2.4/1, 0052/312.1.5/2, 0052/312.1.5/3, 0052/312.1.5/4, 0052/312.1.5/5, 0052/312.1.5/6, 0052/312.1.5/7, 0052/312.1.5/9, 0054/312.1.2/1, 0054/312.1.2/2, 0054/312.1.2/4.

97 A school is classified as under a certain ethnicity group if more than half of its trustees are from that ethnic background.

98 For instance, in the 1910s the colonial government usurped a school founding project in Taichung by Taiwanese gentry and turned the institution into a public school with a lower status than its founders had originally planned. From the 1910s through the end of the Japanese rule, the colonial state also hindered the campaign of Chang Jung School to upgrade to a secondary school fully recognized by the colonial regime. This school had been established and sponsored by the Presbyterian Church in Scotland but came increasingly under the control of elite benshengrens. Takeshi Komagome, Taiwanren de xuexiao zhimeng, shangce [Taiwan People's Dreams for Schools, vol. 1], trans. Su Shuobin, Xu Peixian, and Lin Shiting (Taipei, Taiwan: Taida chuban zhongxin, 2019); and Tsurumi, E. Patricia, Japanese Colonial Education in Taiwan, 1895–1945 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1977)Google Scholar.

99 Table 3 shows that twenty-three of the 135 trustees in 1948 were civil servants. These figures, likewise, make the extent of state intrusion into the private education sector seem greater than it was, as fourteen of these twenty-three came from one institution, the Affiliated Middle School of the Taiwan Sugar Corporation—a mainlander-run school maintained by a state enterprise. Chen, Guancang Minguo Taiwan Dangan Huibian, vol. 256, 314–16.

100 These national politicians included, for instance, members of the National Assembly, Legislative Yuan, and the KMT's Central Design Committee; president or secretary of the Examination Yuan; top officials of the provincial governments; chair of the China Youth Anti-Communist National Salvation Corps; and prominent veteran KMT members. Eighty-nine (95 percent) of these ninety-four national politicians were mainlanders.

101 The local politicians included members at the county and municipal councils, and administrative heads of counties, municipalities, and towns—forty-seven (94 percent) of the fifty local politicians in the sample were islanders. Many mainlander-run private schools invited benshengren politicians to join the boards in order to court goodwill and support (through, for instance, donations of public land) from the municipalities in which the schools were located. Though most political positions at the local level were filled by popular election, candidates without KMT backing found it difficult to get elected. Hence, local politicians, though predominantly benshengrens, were in general loyal to the regime. Liao, “Guangfuhou Taiwan difang xuanju gaishu,” 133–54.

102 Zhonghuaminguo nianjian, minguo sishinian [Yearbook of the Republic of China, 1951], (Taipei, Taiwan: Zhounghuaminguo Nianjianshe, 1951), 850. Presbyterians started evangelizing in Taiwan in the 1860s. They conducted services in Hok-lo and promoted a written form of that dialect developed through a system of romanization. After 1949, the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan constantly criticized the authoritarian regime. In the 1970s, it openly urged the KMT to respect human rights as well as the Taiwanese people's will concerning the island's political future. Rubinstein, Murry A., The Protestant Community on Modern Taiwan: Mission, Seminary, and Church (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1991), 34Google Scholar.

103 Chang, Michael Chuan-sheng, “External Influences in the Emergence of the Catholic Church in Taiwan (1950s-1960s),” in The Catholic Church in Taiwan: Birth, Growth and Development, ed. So, Francis K. H., Leung, Beatrice K. F., and Mylod, Ellen Mary (Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), 69101CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

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