Sat, Jul 26, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Education minister defends Lee

SCAPEGOAT?Huang Jong-tsun said no one person should be singled out for blame for the reform effort

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Minister of Education Huang Jong-tsun (黃榮村) yesterday defended Academia Sinica President Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲), saying that Lee should not be the singled out for blame over the nation's educational reform policies.

Huang said that it was necessary to clarify the targets before criticizing and evaluating educational reform.

"I think Lee is innocent. Almost every educational reform group fingered him as the arch-criminal, which is unfair to him," Huang said at a forum held by the Central News Agency entitled "Thorough inspection of 10 years of education reform."

Lee has come in for a great deal of criticism recently because in 1994 he chaired the Cabinet's ad hoc Educational Reform Evaluation Committee, which was the prime mover behind the reform effort.

Huang noted that the organizers and executives of the Educational Reform Evaluation Committee came from different groups and that although Lee served as the committee's convener, he did not single-handedly launch the educational reform effort.

"It is easy to place the blame on a certain target for a complicated event," Huang said.

Huang said the fundamental principle of the reform effort was fairness and justice.

"The Ministry of Education worked to achieve fairness and ensure that every student's educational rights are protected. If the educational reforms deviated from this direction then we have to correct it," he said. "I hope every educational reform group can put the election [next year's presidential election] aside and concentrate on the essence of education itself."

PFP Legislator Hsu Yuan-guo (許淵國) also attended yesterday's forum.

Hsu said there were three major problems with the 10-year educational reform effort that made it a failure: the scale was too large, the number of the colleges grew too quickly and graduates could not match the need of industry.

"It is very dangerous to launch educational reform with political intentions," he said.

"The reform was not success-ful, though it is arbitrary to say that it was a fiasco," DPP Legislator Cao Chi-Hong (曹啟宏) said at the forum.

"What we need to do is to amend the present educational system in a timely manner," Cao said.

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