Mon, Jul 08, 2013 - Page 8 News List

Education act needs challenging

By Lin Terng-yaw 林騰鷂

Private universities often hire retired public university professors or retired government officials to be their “educational guardians” or “educational mercenaries” to meet the school evaluation threshold requirements. By doing so, they fail to accomplish their mission of cultivating young academics.

Furthermore, board members of certain private universities give themselves certain benefits.

They ignore the rights of students, the faculty and their schools, and offer inappropriately large salaries and benefits to school presidents. For example, several private university presidents’ salaries are twice or even triple the salaries of public university presidents. The result is that teacher salaries at private universities are much lower than at public schools.

For many years, the Ministry of Education has failed to supervise private institutions in accordance with Article 162 of the Constitution.

As a result, Taiwanese education is deteriorating as the number of underperforming private schools continue to grow.

Unfortunately, the legislature did not focus on the public aspects of private schools when reviewing the act, which departs from the basic national policy of education as laid down in the Constitution.

Opposition parties should follow Article 5 of the Constitutional Interpretation Procedure Act (司法院大法官審理案件法) and gather the support of one-third of all legislators, which is the number required to file for a constitutional interpretation. They should clarify whether the act regarding the 12-year national education program violates the Constitution.

Lin Terng-yaw is a retired professor of law who taught at Tunghai University.

Translated by Eddy Chang

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