Wed, Nov 03, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Decision on exams is `uncivilized'

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Two days ahead of the Examination Yuan's final decision on how the nation's history and geography should be handled in January's entry-level national civil service examinations, a member of the Examination Yuan yesterday criticized the review committee's decision-making pro-cess in a statement.

"It's an extremely uncivilized manner to reach such a decision without discussing the four proposals separately," Chang Cheng-shuh (張正修) said in the statement.

The Examination Yuan's review committee on Monday decided that January's entry-level national civil service examinations will include national history and geography, but the proportion of questions dealing with Taiwan and China has to be finalized by the Examination Yuan tomorrow.

Three alternatives to scrapping the history and geography tests have been proposed. The first is to remove tests on the nation's history and geography, as well as civics education, from national civil service examinations, starting with January's entry-level national examination.

The second proposal is to change the names of the tests to exclude the word "national" and specify the scope and percentage of questions that deal with Taiwan and China.

The third proposal is to maintain the names of the tests and specify the scope and percentage of the questions. This proposal does not stipulate specific percentages.

In addition to these three proposals, Chang and another Examination Yuan member, Chen Mao-hsiung (陳茂雄), suggested at last Thursday's weekly meeting that the tests be renamed from "national history and geography" to "Taiwan's history and geography" to avoid confusion.

Chen said yesterday that it makes sense to test entry-level civil servants on Taiwan's history and geography, because it is the Taiwanese people they will be serving.

"I personally think that it's sufficient to test entry-level civil servants on Taiwan's history and geography, and higher-level civil servants such as diplomats on global history and geography," he said.

Chen said he was doubtful whether specific percentages could be set for the questions, because it would be difficult to separate Taiwan's history from that of China and the rest of the world.

Another Examination Yuan member, Lin Yu-tee (林玉体), who caused a stir recently after saying he would only allow questions about Taiwan's history and geography to appear in national history and geography exams, said yesterday that he would leave it to the Examination Yuan to decide the scope and percentage of the questions tomorrow.

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