The Ministry of Education’s high-school curriculum guidelines employ discriminatory language to refer to foreign spouses and other immigrants, human rights and immigrant advocacy organizations said yesterday.
Led by the Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR), the groups said that the guidelines perpetuate negative stereotypes of immigrants by using such phrases as “foreign brides,” “Filipino maids” and “Indonesian maids.”
The use of such terms is unacceptable, they said, adding that the government has long declared its preferential use of the phrase “foreign spouses” over “foreign brides.”
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Furthermore, referring to immigrant women as “brides” perpetually defines them through their marriage instead of as individuals, they said.
The groups prefer the use of “migrant workers” or “Southeast Asian immigrants” instead of “maids” or “foreign laborers (外勞),” they said.
“The marriage ceremony lasts for only a day, but we get referred to as foreign brides for more than 20 years,” TransAsia Sisters Association, Taiwan, executive secretary Hong Man-chi (洪滿枝) said.
“By choosing to use such vocabulary, the committee members in charge of curricula show that they lack understanding about the cultures and histories of immigrants and migrant workers and their decades of contributions to Taiwanese society,” the TAHR said in a statement.
The statement said that the ministry is “leading the way in discrimination” and questioned whether the ministry intends to teach children born to international marriages to use discriminatory language toward their own family members.
The incident illustrates the lack of professional credentials among the committee members in evaluating curriculum design, TAHR legal specialist Hsu Jen-shuo (許仁碩) said.
He urged increased transparency on the development of curriculum guidelines for the 12-year national education program.
Announced in January last year, the new curriculum guidelines are to be adopted by high schools nationwide in August.
The curriculum guideline for 10th-grade geography contains a passage that reads: “The migration of Africans to southern Europe, Indonesian maids and Filipino maids seeking employment in Taiwan and [the phenomenon of] foreign brides can all be classified as cases of global mobility.”
In response, Ministry of Education Chief Secretary Wang Chun-chuan (王俊權) acknowledged that the phrases held discriminatory connotations and assured the public that the guidelines would be swiftly revised.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did