Lawmakers from across party lines yesterday set up a reform committee aimed at restoring the joint entrance exam, saying the current system is confusing and easily manipulated. \nPFP legislative whip Diane Lee (李慶安), co-founder of the Education Reform Committee, said the group plans to launch a signature drive for students and parents nationwide to express their discontent at existing admission programs. \nShe said the multi-route admission program has failed to ensure fairness or provide hoped-for vitality to Taiwan's educational system. \n"The introduction of the program has subjected students to more school pressure, as they have to take more tests than ever before," Lee told a news conference. "Parents meanwhile have questioned its fairness, with many seeking to curry favor with influential teachers." \nUnder the multi-route admission program, college and high school hopefuls have to take the Basic Competency Test twice a year, in addition to maintaining satisfactory grade reports. Students with special talents may seek to enter favored schools with recommendations from teachers. \nLee urged the Ministry of Education to replace the current program with a biannual joint entrance examination system for senior-high-school hopefuls. \nTSU lawmaker Chen Cheng-lung (程振隆) said he found the Basic Competency Test in need of reform, as it fails to accurately determine students' proficiency. \nOn Wednesday, Minister of Education Huang Jong-tsun (黃榮村) said, however, that he opposed any resumption of the joint entrance exam. \nHuang said that the ministry is conducting a review of the "multi-route program for entering senior high schools" to find ways to improve it. The review is expected to be completed by mid-August.
FAMILY FEUD: Weng Jen-hsien, who was convicted of killing six people in 2016, was the second prisoner to be executed since President Tsai Ing-wen took office A death row inmate was executed on Wednesday, less than a year after he was convicted of killing six people by setting fire to his home. Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that he signed the order and the death sentence was carried out on Wednesday afternoon in New Taipei City. The Supreme Court on July 10 last year sentenced 53-year-old Weng Jen-hsien (翁仁賢) to death after he was convicted of killing his parents, niece, nephew and nephew’s wife and his parents’ caregivers. Weng set fire to his home in Taoyuan’s Longtan District (龍潭) on Feb. 7, 2016, after a family feud
At a campground in Nantou County, a team of women are using ropes to shimmy up a towering seven-story tall Chinaberry tree, fighting their fear of heights and reconnecting with nature. Tree climbing remains somewhat niche in Taiwan, but a growing number of women are embracing the challenge thanks to the island’s first international certified female climber arborist. Sylvia Hsu (許芢涵), 26, said she was inspired to set up her own women-only tree climbing classes after seeing the popularity of similar gatherings in Europe. “A women-only camp is a more relaxed environment,” she said. “I was hooked on trees after my first climb...
Police in Kaohsiung are investigating a possible murder after a woman’s body was found in a plastic container on Thursday. The bucket was found by a person operating an excavator on a construction site at a private lot next to the Ciaotou Sugar Refinery Station (橋頭糖廠站) on the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit system. Police investigator Chen Jen-cheng (陳仁正) yesterday said police had reviewed missing person reports and have narrowed the identity of the victim down to about 20 possible people. Physical evidence suggested she might have been a Fongshan District (鳳山) woman surnamed Lin (林), who was about 60 years old when she
IN PRINCIPLE: The Central Epidemic Command Center began yesterday to ban visits to hospitalized patients, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 10 new COVID-19 cases — eight imported and two locally transmitted — bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 339. The imported cases involved six men and two women, all Taiwanese, who had traveled to Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Indonesia, countries in Latin America, the UK or the US before arriving back in Taiwan between March 6 and Tuesday, center data showed. Among them, patient No. 338 was part of a tour group that traveled to Austria and the Czech Republic, and has resulted in an infection cluster of five cases,