Mon, May 13, 2002 - Page 4 News List

Testing in China not a sure thing

By Lin Miao-Jung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwanese students Lin Yeh-tan (林業唐) and Lee Kuan-ta (李冠達), who live in China's Jiangsu Province, weren't in Taipei this weekend for a holiday.

The two students from Shang-hai's Hwadong School for Taiwan Businessmen's Children (華東台商子弟學校), along with 300,000 other junior high-school students, were sitting in on the two-day Basic Competency Tests for entry into high school.

While 41 of their peers in Guangdong Province were allowed to sit the exam in China for the first time, Lin and Lee, two of only six students from their school eligible to take the exam this year, were forced to come back to Taiwan.

Their vice principal, Kuei Sao-tsen (桂紹貞), hopes her students won't have to make the long journey next year.

According to the Ministry of Education's regulations, an overseas Taiwanese school can apply to hold the tests only when at least 25 students have signed up for it.

"The trip back to Taiwan is costly and time consuming," Kuei said.

But for next year, Kuei is confident her school will meet the requirements.

"The number of our students will meet the education ministry's criteria to hold an overseas exam," she said yesterday.

Conducting the test in China had for a long time seemed impossible because Chinese officials reserved the right to open the test papers when they passed through customs, leaving open the possibility of the questions being leaked.

But businessmen and staff at the Dongguan School for Taiwan Businessmen's Children (東莞台商子弟學校) managed to persuade the Guangdong authorities not to check the papers until just before the test.

However, Minister of Education Huang Jung-tsun (黃榮村) said there was no guarantee that the Hwadong school would be able to host the tests next year.

"In addition to the number of the students, we have to take other uncertain elements into account," he said.

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