Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday weighed in on controversy over the Ministry of Education’s high-school curriculum adjustments, saying the changes were “too minor” and “far from enough.”
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential hopeful said in an interview with radio host Tang Hsiang-lung (唐湘龍) yesterday morning — who called the curriculum controversy “the most bloody, political and vicious machination” — that it is “wrong to call the adjustment process a ‘black box.’”
Defending the ministry against a court ruling that its conduct in planning and deciding the adjustment process was not transparent enough, Hung said that it was the composition of the curriculum adjustment committee, rather than the adjustments per se, that was admonished by the court.
However, “consider this: If [the ministry] did make public the names of the members of the curriculum adjustment committee, given the prevailing political mood, no one would dare join the committee in the future,” she said.
“Even those who are rational and hard-working would not dare to do so, because they will be harshly criticized, humiliated or even harassed at their residence. How can the ministry make the list public?” she said.
Hung claimed that if the ministry had asked a group of academics who have a different political leaning, such as those who favor Taiwanese independence, to sit on the committee, “there definitely would have been no problem at all,” because KMT supporters would not harass those academics or make a scene “thanks to a different political culture.”
As for the curriculum adjustments, Hung said they were “way too minor” and “far from enough.”
“Almost nothing has been changed,” she added.
The curriculum guidelines have to be revised in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of China, Hung said, adding that the ministry had already been “compelled” to make concessions, such as allowing teachers to prepare their own additional teaching materials and promising that controversial parts would not be tested.
“History as a subject underwent a 180o change during the administrations of [former] presidents Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁),” she said. “Were the names of curriculum committee members made public then?”
“We are simply returning [the curriculum] back to the right track — a track that is in accordance with the ROC Constitution,” she added.
Tang said he was “deeply concerned,” as the “Sunflower movement generation” who have been taught these revisions, now have a “distorted, self-rationalized and relatively self-isolated view of history.”
“Yes,” Hung said repeatedly, expressing enthusiastic approval of Tang’s remarks.