A wave of high-school student protests against the Ministry of Education’s controversial adjustments to high-school curriculum guidelines has escalated, with students from at least 16 high schools campaigning in nationwide, coordinated action.
Following a sit-in organized by National Taichung First Senior High School students earlier this month, the initiative has drawn support from fellow students at National Hsinchu Senior High School, Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School and National Wuling Senior High School in Taoyuan, among others.
Opposition to the modified curriculum set to be implemented in August stems from perceived procedural flaws by the ministry, as well as changes to history textbooks that critics say reflect a “China-centric” view.
Photo provided by a student
The ministry has been “too dogmatic” in bulldozing through the curricular adjustments, students at National Chu-pei Senior High School in Hsinchu County said, adding that they hope that history teachers can be freed from political interference and join the students’ cause.
Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School student Ho Wei-tzu (何蔚慈) said that the school’s student association is set to organize larger protests nationwide in collaboration with fellow students at National Hsinchu Senior High School.
The anti-curriculum campaign aims for the revocation of the adjusted curriculum and a re-evaluation of the curriculum-reviewing mechanism, he said.
“The ministry, as the governing body [of education], is culpable by failing to maintain procedural justice [in modifying the curriculum], on which civic education has placed great emphasis. The new curriculum of civic education is thereby problematic,” he said.
Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School teacher Tseng Yi-ming (曾宜敏) said that she was pleased to see students respond to social issues, as the purpose of education is to foster students’ ability to think critically and act correspondingly.
New Taipei Municipal Zhonghe Senior High School student activist Liang Yan-jou (梁艷柔) said that students organized a forum to debate changes to the curriculum on the campus last week, attracting more than 200 students and teachers.
A series of activities organized by high-school students against the curricular adjustments include a panel discussion moderated by spokeswoman of the Black Island National Youth Front Lai Pin-yu (賴品妤) at Jianguo High School yesterday; a demonstration marching from Jhongli Station in Taoyuan tomorrow; a forum at National Tainan Girls’ Senior High School on Wednesday next week; and a panel discussion at SuSu Second-Hand Bookstore and Guesthouse chaired by education activist Chou Wei-tung (周威同) in Taitung County on Thursday next week.
Facebook communities have been established to mobilize more students to advance the campaign.
Additional reporting by Weng Yu-ming and Wang Chun-chieh
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
RIVERSIDE CAMP: As rescuers continued their search for a missing man, Taipower said that the floodgates at a hydro plant on the Lishi Creek opened due to a malfunction Three people have been confirmed dead and one was missing after being swept away by a flash flood while camping in Nantou County’s Renai Township (仁愛), police said yesterday. Six people from two families were camping near Lishi Creek (栗栖溪) when the riverbanks were suddenly flooded just after 4am, carrying away four of the campers — including two children — who were asleep in their tents, police said. A man who was among those swept away was able to climb ashore and call for help, police said, adding that another man had gone missing in the turmoil at the campsite.