Sat, Mar 09, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Premier backs compulsory education plan

CNA , TAIPEI

Premier Yu Shyi-kun agreed yesterday to endorse a Ministry of Education plan that would extend compulsory education from nine to 10 years, provided the ministry can come up with suitable measures to implement it.

In line with conclusions reached at a national educational reform conference last year, the ministry recently came up with a plan that would add a year to the length of compulsory education. However, the ministry's plan provides for the extra year to be added to the start of a child's schooling, rather than the end as the conference had recommended.

Since 1968, children have been required to attend school for nine years.

Minister of Education Huang Jung-tsun (黃榮村) said that the new program is tentatively scheduled to start in 2005 or 2006.

Dissatisfied with Huang's state-ment, DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-chin (葉宜津) demanded that Yu endorse the ministry's plan outright and make sure that the plan is implemented in 2005.

Yeh, a mother of three children, complained that pre-school education was "lacking and expensive" in Taiwan and said a one-year extension of compulsory pre-school education was needed to ease the financial burden on young parents.

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