Sat, Jul 25, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Curriculum Protests: Individuals involved in MOE compound incursion to be prosecuted: minister Wu

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa said yesterday students who allegedly broke into the Ministry of Education (MOE) compound late on Thursday night — and possibly three journalists who followed the students — are to be charged with several offenses.

Photo: Taipei Times

Students who allegedly broke into the Ministry of Education (MOE) compound late on Thursday night — and possibly three journalists who followed the students — are to be charged with several offenses, Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) said yesterday, calling the students a “front” for external political forces.

Wu said that the ministry had communicated with students on numerous occasions, both official and unofficial, and had shown restraint in not prosecuting previous incidents of trespassing on ministry property.

“Our tolerance has been rewarded with continued irrational behavior, which we feel has been disorderly and seriously breaches the bounds of what is acceptable, creating the worst possible example,” Wu said, adding that he wished to express his “regret” and “condemnation” of the students’ “brashly illegal behavior.”

The ministry said that 33 people had been arrested, including 24 students, three reporters and six other individuals. Eleven minors were among those arrested.

The students used ladders to scale barbed-wire barricades on the perimeter of the ministry compound, with a number of students later barricading themselves inside Wu’s office.

MOE Secretary-General Wang Chun-chuan (王俊傑) said that the students would be prosecuted for two charges according to the Criminal Code: trespassing on the dwelling or structure of another and damaging public property.

Wu condemned what he called the “unethical behavior” of outside political forces behind the student movement.

“At many venues, we found that some political parties and social organizations have interposed themselves in activities relating to the curriculum guidelines,” Wu said. “They hide themselves behind students who are pushed to the front lines.”

Wu also ruled out any temporary suspension of the controversial curriculum guidelines, stating that the administrative procedures for them to go into effect next month have already been completed and he could not reverse them.

He said the ministry maintains that schools are to be allowed to use textbooks based on either the old or new versions of guidelines, with teachers using “supplementary materials” to lead discussion on both sides of the controversial portions.

Regarding communication with students, Wu said that students protesting earlier this week had failed to clearly state how they wished to communicate with ministry officials.

While schedule conflicts prevented him from attending Thursday’s ministry-sponsored forums on the guidelines, the officials who did attend were fully capable of representing the ministry’s position, he said.

Forums were delayed for more than a month after the first event ended with Wu being confronted by students, who attempted to prevent him from leaving.

Wu said he remained willing to meet with student representatives, with the time, place and manner of such a meeting all negotiable.

He confirmed that Wu Ching-shan (吳清山) had tendered his resignation as director of the K-12 Education Administration, which is responsible for implementing the guidelines, but said that he had yet to approve the request.

This story has been viewed 2137 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top