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Wed, Jan 10, 2001 - Page 2 News List

Reconstruction efforts defended

STAFF WRITER

Minister of Education Ovid Tzeng (曾志朗) has responded to criticism from Huang Jung-tsun (黃榮村), executive director of the 921 Earth-quake Reconstruction Committee, on Jan. 8 that the ministry had turned a deaf dear to slow progress in rebuilding quake-hit schools, the Chinese-language media reported yesterday.

In reply to comments made last week by Huang and Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄), Tzeng said from the US yesterday that the education ministry would get back on schedule with the rebuilding of quake-hit schools.

However, he refused to agree with Huang that the ministry had simply ignored the reconstruction project, Tzeng said.

On the other hand, a Ministry of Education official filed his resignation on Monday after being ruthlessly criticized by Chang over sluggishness in reconstructing 921 quake-hit schools. The ministry was expected, sooner or later, to approve the resignation of Liu Yi-chuan (劉奕權), director of the elementary education department, local media reports said.

The premier had criticized the ministry last week for the delayed reconstruction of 39 damaged schools. Furthermore, Tzeng made clear that whenever the ministry held a meeting on reconstruction in the past, the 921 Earthquake Reconstruction Committee also appointed its own staff to join the discussions, the report said. Therefore, the committee must have been well-informed regarding the status of schools being rebuilt, Tzeng said.

Tzeng insisted that Huang's charge against the ministry was not convincing to anyone, the report said. As for Liu's resignation, Tzeng said that he would not yet make any decision until his return to Taiwan, the report said.

Tzeng said that Liu had a difficult position, as he had to deal with reconstruction issues as well as promoting the nine-year curriculum for elementary and junior high schools.

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