On Friday, June 1, boys from both the CTBC Business School and CTBC International Academy competed in a kayaking race. The competition was held on the campus’s kayaking canal, one the unique features of the school’s sprawling Annan grounds. Fortunately, the day was cooler than many Tainan had experienced lately, even having some clouds to partially block the fierce summer sun.
The race was organized in a team format, with four students on each team. Two students were in each kayak and had to paddle to the end of the canal, where the other two team members were waiting in another kayak and would paddle the return leg. The kayakers had varying levels of skill and experience. Therefore, some boats went in a fairly straight line while others were propelled on a more indirect path. However, all the participants looked to enjoy the event, and some ended up in the water, no doubt finding it refreshing after the workout.
The kayaking canal is a one-of-a-kind feature in a Tainan school. With its expansive campus, the institution is fortunate to have the space for the canal as well as a golf practice range, a baseball diamond, soccer pitch, running track, and space for a rumoured golf course.
New Air Conditioners
Students and teachers were pleasantly surprised on Monday, June 4. New air conditioners had been installed in four classrooms to replace aging or broken ones. The units will now provide ample cooling for the broiling Taiwan summer.
Students have already been told to use air conditioning responsibly, as the nation’s electrical grid has been pushed close to the limit recently with record-breaking heat across the island. The hot weather increased the demand for air conditioning and stretched the power grid to more than 96% of capacity. With many more months of heat and humidity and several power generation stations offline, using air conditioning judiciously and closing doors and windows are two easy ways to help ease the burden.
More conscientious use of air-conditioning across the island would also help conserve electricity, and there are opportunities to do just that. Department store doors are often wide open. Driving past, you can feel a blast of cool air that reaches the street. Also, buses, movie theaters, and some shops are cooled to uncomfortably chilly temperatures. These are some examples of cool air being taken for granted and wasted. If everyone uses air conditioning with greater awareness, the chances of overtaxing the electrical generating capacity of the country are reduced. It’s something to think about.
CIA has hosted several groups of parents and prospective students recently. Students have been sitting in on classes to experience the atmosphere, teaching methods, and materials of various courses. Reading information online and listening to introductory lectures about the school are great, of course, but the best way to get an idea whether you want to come to this school or not is to attend some classes.
That is exactly what students can do here. They have sat in on reading, writing, science, and other classes, all taught in English by native speakers. This experience allows prospective students to assess whether or not they understand the teachers, have any familiarity with materials, and like the teaching methods.
As the institution is an experimental school, teachers have latitude with how classes are taught and assessed. CIA teachers give fewer traditional tests and exams, preferring to use other means of assessment such as presentations, open-book tests, online assignments, and shorter quizzes. Students have been pleased with this system, preferring it to the high pressure faced in previous schools with two or three sets of compulsory exams each semester.
The pressure and the constant cramming for tests can cause students to lose focus on their primary purpose of being in school, which is to learn information and skills that can help them with future careers and lives. Pupils at CIA have less pressure and are thus free to concentrate on learning, to think about post-secondary education, and to pursue athletic or social interests. The idea is that a more balanced approach to education produces more well-rounded young adults, with a broader skill-set and more confidence.
CIA students in pre-race warm-up.
CIA students Howard and Paul paddling hard for the finish line.
CIA students Daniel and Jonathan getting ready for the race.