Sun, May 12, 2002 - Page 1 News List

In a first, students based in China take Taiwan school test

By Lin Miao-Jung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Forty-one Taiwanese junior-high school graduates living in Dong-guan, in China's Guangdong Province, yesterday participated in the first Basic Competency Tests administered in China.

According to reports by the officials of the Ministry of Education who went to the Dongguan School for Taiwan Businessmen's Children to supervise the exam, held simultaneously in Taiwan, took place smoothly without interruption by the Chinese authorities.

The two-day annual exam will end today for the nearly 300,000 Taiwanese junior-high graduates aspiring to get into high school.

Several months ago, conducting the test in China was seen as impossible because Chinese officials might censor test questions while the test papers were sent from Taiwan to China and through Chinese customs.

Officials from Taiwan were worried that censorship of the exams by their Chinese counterparts would risk leaking the test questions in advance and so jeopardize the fairness of the exam.

However, after efforts made by Taiwanese businessmen and the school's staff, Guangdong officials promised not to open the seal of the test papers, and sent an official letter to assure the school that the Chinese authorities would help the school with the exam .

According to a CNA report, Chinese customs officials only examined the papers right before the test was about to begin yesterday morning, to make sure the envelopes didn't contain any contraband.

Right after the test began yesterday morning, the ministry issued a statement to praise China's support and understanding on this matter.

"We appreciate Chinese authorities' understanding and support, which made the test go smoothly. It highlights both sides' concern and neutral attitude toward education," the statement said.

Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) told the Taipei Times yesterday that Guangdong officials had "showed great goodwill" while dealing with the matter, and "it was a good start" to meeting the needs of Taiwanese students in China.

"We would not rule out the possibility of allowing other schools for Taiwanese businessmen's children in China to adopt the same measure in the future" Chen said.

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