Mon, Jul 27, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Student group relocates forum to legislature

LEGAL AID:Lin Heng-li of the Taiwan Society Center and Southern Taiwan Society chairman Chang Fu-chu pledged money to help students facing legal action

By Wu Po-hsuan and Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporters

Members of the Northern Taiwan Society and other pro-localization groups in Taipei yesterday voice support for students protesting against planned high-school curriculum changes.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

National Taichung First Senior High School student club Apple Tree Commune last night relocated its forum on the controversial curriculum adjustments to in front of the Legislative Yuan complex in Taipei, saying that many of the nation’s problems are the result of the unsatisfactory performance of the legislature.

Members of the group, the first student body to publicly criticize the Ministry of Education’s actions over the curriculum guidelines, said they hope the forum will covey to government officials and lawmakers their dissatisfaction over procedural matters.

The forum was held following an incident on Thursday night, when a group of protesters entered the ministry’s headquarters to express their opposition to what critics call “China-centric” adjustments and an opaque approval process for the guidelines.

Earlier yesterday, other groups voiced support for the activists who entered the ministry building, denying that the student-led group had been goaded into the action.

“Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) accused us of mobilizing the student protest, but the fact is that they are acting beyond what we are capable of; we are in no position to tell them what to do,” Northern Taiwan Society chairman Chang Ye-sen (張葉森) told a news conference in Taipei. “The minister should step down for making a false accusation.”

However, Chang said that the society did give the protesters some assistance.

“We are obliged to make sure they are safe; it was our responsibility to provide a place for them to rest. That is all we did,” he said.

Revolutionary Council convener Wang Yi-kai (王奕凱) accused Wu of lying.

“The minister said that he would not take legal action against the students, but actually, he did. He also said that he is unable to withdraw the lawsuits, but actually, he could do so,” Wang said. “He is a liar.”

Wang said courts have already declared that there are defects in the administrative process used to implement the curriculum guideline adjustments.

“What the ministry should do is review what they have done wrong, not try to force [the adjusments] through,” Wang said.

Central Taiwan Society chairman Lin Heng-li (林恆立) and Southern Taiwan Society chairman Chang Fu-chu (張復聚) said they would each donate NT$100,000 to assist students facing charges over entering the ministry building.

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