Tue, Aug 21, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Unification backers pan curriculum guidelines

‘GLOBAL HISTORY’:The Ministry of Education said it held 236 meetings and 51 consultations to discuss the guidelines’ content before beginning to review them

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Education building is pictured in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Lin Hsiao-yun, Taipei Times

The Ministry of Education yesterday denied accusations leveled by pro-unification groups that new history curriculum guidelines for the 12-year national education program, which the ministry is reviewing, present a “desinicized” version of Taiwan’s history.

The Blue Sky Action Alliance, Republic of China Retired Military Officers’ Association and 20 other groups demonstrated in front of the ministry building on Taipei’s Zhongshan S Road to protest against the guidelines for elementary, junior-high and senior-high schools.

The guidelines, which are to be implemented in the next academic year, are an attempt by the Democratic Progressive Party to “desinicize” Taiwan’s history and “fawn on Japan,” the protesters said.

“We have only one request, which is that President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration create normal history textbooks for children. We will not allow the next generation to be poisoned by more textbooks that distort truth and glorify crimes,” they said in a statement.

The new textbooks should include more Chinese history than Japanese history, as well as “Japan’s atrocities against neighboring countries under militarism,” it said.

The new guidelines are structured around three themes — Taiwan, China and the world — and emphasize the interactive links between them, the ministry said in a statement.

“The guidelines do not desinisize the nation’s history or replace Chinese history with East Asian history. Instead, they enable students to not only learn about Chinese history, but develop a structured and rich understanding of its connections to global history,” it said.

The new approach is an effort to break free from nationalism and other ideologies, it said, adding that it aims to help students develop awareness as global citizens, boost systemic thinking and problem-solving skills, and give them the ability to appreciate diversity.

The guidelines have been drafted and reviewed in a transparent manner, in which a wide range of opinions have been collected, the ministry said.

Before the ministry began reviewing curriculum guidelines for history and other social sciences, it had held 236 meetings to discuss their content and held 51 meetings to hear opinions, it said.

It also held public hearings in 22 cities and counties, and collected opinions through the Internet, the ministry added.

Moreover, the draft guidelines had passed reviews by the National Academy for Educational Research and meeting records on the guidelines can be found on the academy’s Web site, it said.

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