Thu, Jul 24, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Schools get incentives to open summer campuses

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

In a bid to encourage youngsters to engage in healthier activities during the summer, the Executive Yuan yesterday decided to offer incentives to public and private schools to open their campuses during holidays and after school.

"Facilities located at schools, communities and government buildings should be open to the public as much as possible under the premise that their safety and daily activities are safeguarded," Cabinet Spokesman Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) quoted Premier Yu Shyi-kun as saying yesterday morning.

To encourage public and private high schools to comply with the measure, Lin said, the Cabinet will offer a subsidy of up to NT$4 million to each school. Interested private colleges and universities will also receive subsidies from the Ministry of Education.

Yu made the remarks yesterday morning during the weekly closed-door Cabinet meeting after listening to the briefing presented by the education ministry.

According to a report made available by the ministry, about 80 percent of the public colleges and universities open their doors during summer vacations, while 19 percent are closed.

While 74, or 83 percent, of all private colleges' and universities' sports facilities are accessible to the public during summer vacations, the grounds of 15, or 17 percent, are not.

As for high schools, while 80 percent, or 226, of the nation's public and private schools' sports facilities are available during summer vacations, 20 percent, or 64, are not.

Yu also approved the ministry's proposal that public high schools charge facility users a fee. These funds, however, have to be used for maintenance and cleaning of the facilities.

The ministry's report was prompted by a complaint filed by Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) during last week's Cabinet meeting.

According to a close aide of Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who delivered a report on the city's handling of Chen's complaint during yesterday's Cabinet meeting, Chen's son was denied access to his alma mater, Chung Cheng Junior High School, where he had planned to play basketball.

After listening to the report from the sports council, Yu yesterday approved the council's plan to organize 92 land, air and water sports activities during the summer.

The program will attract an estimated 1 million youngsters.

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