Fri, Sep 25, 2015 - Page 1 News List

DPP mayors, commissioners boycott MOE program

By Yu Ming-chin, Rachel Lin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa yesterday answers questions from legislators during a meeting of the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee in Taipei.

Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) local government heads have launched a boycott of the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) “Integrated Supervision Program” to help relieve teachers who are overburdened with administrative work.

Yilan County Commissioner Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) initiated the boycott on Wednesday, announcing that Yilan would not take part in the program.

The mayors of Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Taoyuan and Hsinchu, and the commissioners of Penghu, Chiayi, Changhua and Pingtung counties followed suit yesterday.

Lin said the program would require teachers and staff to meet 74 itemized sets of performance metrics, which would mean that they would undergo an evaluation or inspection every 2.6 days on average.

The staff evaluations, project plans, progress reports and achievement presentations would require teachers and staff to complete between 300 and 400 forms, Lin said, adding that “the excessive metrics left educators no time or energy for instructing pupils.”

Lin said that he took the lead in boycotting the program to “give teachers back the time they deserve, students the teachers they deserve and Taiwan the good education system it deserves.”

Taichung Education Bureau Director-General Yan Ching-hsiang (顏慶祥) said that the central government should allow the counties and cities the authority to make their own policies.

“Trust is the core value of education and adjusting policy to circumstances should be the principle of administration,” he said.

The Chiayi County Government said that “the practice works the adults to death for no benefit to the children and is the tragedy of national education,” pledging to “cease any evaluation or inspection” that has no real effect on education.

Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) said on Facebook that he supports Lin’s decision, describing the ministry-mandated activities, reports and study groups as “administrative burdens” and “make-busy work” that “do not improve the quality of education.”

The Kaohsiung City Government said constant performance evaluations had substantially increased paperwork and exhausted teachers and administrators. It urged the ministry to rethink its program and to trim its performance requirements.

However, Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) said that he has trimmed items from the program since assuming office, but there is a need for supervision because educational budgets come from taxpayers’ money.

Additional reporting by Hung Jui-ching and Wang Jung-hsiang

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