Wed, Apr 03, 2002 - Page 4 News List

Kinmen starts to take in China-based Taiwan kids

CNA , TAIPEI

Kinmen will begin to accept children of China-based Taiwan businesspeople on a "trial basis" this September, an education official said Monday.

Deputy Education Minister Fan Sun-lu (范巽綠) made the announcement when she and several legislators toured Kinmen island to inspect the facilities for primary and middle schools.

Fan noted that Kinmen was one of the first places in Taiwan to implement the nine-year compulsory educational system, making its overall teaching environment one of the best in the nation.

Fan asked Kinmen educational authorities to complete their assessment of high schools and vocational schools so that the children of Taiwan businesspeople operating in China would be able to receive their education from primary school through senior high school in their motherland.

She said she welcomed Tai-wanese businesspeople to visit in groups to see the school facilities for themselves.

Under the "small three links" implemented in January of last year, which allow for direct trade, transport and postal links between Matsu and Kinmen and selected Chinese ports, legislators also said that once regular shipping begins between Kinmen and Xiamen, Taiwan businesspeople in China will be able to visit their children studying in Kinmen and vice versa via a voyage across the Taiwan Strait of no more than 90 minutes.

The legislators said that allowing the children to receive their educations on Kinmen would help Taiwan businesspeople maintain their roots and prevent their children from being "brainwashed" under the Chinese educational system.

DPP Legislator Chang Chin-fang (張清芳) also urged educational authorities to be "bolder," saying that as a democratic society, Taiwan should welcome Chinese students who wish to study in Kinmen to help them better identify with Taiwan.

Fan said that the ministry has formed a task force with the Mainland Affairs Council to assess the possibility of allowing in Chinese students.

The Kinmen County Government assessed that junior high schools would be able to accommodate up to 2,000 children of China-based Taiwan businesspeople, while primary schools would be able to handle up to 3,000 children.

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