The Ministry of Education denied wrongdoing yesterday amid criticism directed at it stemming from over 200 students in Taitung having taken the Joint College Entrance Examination under the threat of Typhoon Mindulle two days ago.
"We have not heard any complaints from the students about their rights having been violated on account of the typhoon," vice minister Chou Tsan-te (
According to the regulations of the College Entrance Examination Center, the national examination should be postponed in any city or county that cancels school and work because of a typhoon or for other reasons.
Chou said that the ministry and the center had put the regulations in place a long time ago and that authorities had adhered to them.
Chou denied media reports that he had pressured the Taitung County Government not to announce half-days so that the examination could proceed as scheduled.
`passing the buck'
He said that he had in fact talked to Taitung County Commissioner Hsu Ching-yuan (
Chou made the statements during a press conference held by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus, with KMT legislators criticizing the ministry and center on account of the exam having been held as scheduled, and also claiming that the ministry had attempted to avoid responsibility by passing the buck to regional governments.
"The examination should be fair to students above all, and a major decision on whether the exam should go ahead should not have been made just one day before the typhoon arrived. The authorities had known about the typhoon well ahead of time," KMT Legislator Huang Chao-shun (
KMT Legislator Huang Teh-fu (
"Whether ordinary workers should have a day off can be decided by city and the county governments alone, but the examination affects the whole country, and any decision on it should have been made by the center instead of the regional government," Huang Teh-fu said.
Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng (
Tu said that he had called Hsu on Thursday evening, but only to express to Hsu his concern about the situation in Taitung, rather than to exert any pressure.
Earlier in the day, Hsu said it was his own decision not to cancel work and school during the typhoon and had nothing to do with pressure from anyone else. Hsu also said that he was willing to take all the responsibility for his decision.
Lee Chung-yuan (
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