Mon, Jun 28, 2004 - Page 4 News List

DPP lawmakers criticize positive discrimination

MILITARY COLLEGES A program to help Aboriginals get further education is leaving too few positions open for non-indigenous students

CNA , Taipei

A program to aid Aboriginal youths to seek higher education in military academies has resulted in giving them access to the choicest departments for study and the situation is crowding out non-indigenous students, two lawmakers claimed yesterday.

Legislators Lin Chin-hsing (林進興) and Lee Chen-nan (李鎮楠) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party said that parents of non-Aboriginal students have complained that the system that awards Aborigines with extra points on their military academy entrance exams is unfair.

The legislators asked that relevant governmental agencies look into the matter and establish a fairer policy to enter military academies.

According to Lin, nine out of the top 20 scorers in this year's military academy joint entrance exam were Aborigines who scored high enough to enter the most prestigious departments because of the bonus points privilege.

Because of this, they were able to enter the most coveted departments, such as law, Lin said.

In the meantime, Lee said that some non-Aboriginal parents have complained that some of the "Aboriginal" students are actually not Aborigines at all, and that some of them were born in cities and do not even know an Aboriginal language. The only thing Aborigine about them is found on their identification cards that indicates their ethnic origins.

Lee called for the government and the Ministry of National Defense to work out a fairer testing policy that satisfies both sides.

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