Thu, Dec 14, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take


■ Education
Corporal punishment banned

The Legislative Yuan passed an amendment to the Education Basic Law (教育基本法) on Tuesday, banning any form of corporal punishment in schools and making Taiwan the 109th country in the world to protect students with formal legislation. The Humanistic Education Foundation -- the prime mover behind the legislation -- welcomed the news after lawmakers passed the amendment following a third reading. According to a spokesman for the foundation, the amended law will benefit the nation's 5.3 million students. He said that all students are entitled to the right not to be subjected to physical punishment, be they in public or private kindergartens, elementary schools, high schools, colleges or any other educational institutions.

■ Politics

Shaw changes hospitals

The wife of Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) was moved to a hospital in Taichung yesterday due to her improved condition. After spending 26 days at Chi Mei Medical Center in Tainan County, Shaw Hsiao-ling (邵曉鈴) was transported to China Medical University Hospital in Taichung. Before her departure, Hu thanked Chi Mei Medical Center for accomplishing a "mission impossible" and gave the hospital superintendent, who was also a high-school classmate, Chan Chi-shean (詹啟賢), a big hug. Hu told reporters that an expert who had helped built dinosaur models for the movie Jurassic Park had offered to help make an artificial arm for his wife, to replace her amputated left arm. "I hope it does not turn out to be a dinosaur's arm," Hu said jokingly, drawing laughter from reporters.

■ Transport

MOTC to rule on `accident'

Vice Minister of Transportation and Communications Ho Nuan-hsuen (何煖軒) said yesterday that the transportation ministry would decide tomorrow whether an incident that occurred last Tuesday in Tsoying (左營) could be defined as an "accident." Last month, the ministry's inspectors committee required that the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp must turn in an accident-free record for at least a month before they could be issued an operational permit. However, two accidents have already occurred since the announcement. Last Tuesday, one of the points on railway tracks was found to be split open for reasons unknown. Ho said at the legislature's Transportation Committee that the ministry would defer to the judgment of the inspectors committee. Inspectors would also determine whether test runs should start from scratch, he added.

■ Education

Test results released

The Ministry of Education released the results of its first test to certify Chinese language instructors yesterday. Last month, some 2,000 aspiring Chinese teachers took the examination, which consists of five sections to evaluate examinees' grasp of Mandarin, as well as pedagogical skills, local media said. The ministry announced in a press release yesterday that just 72 examinees had passed all five sections. The ministry will confer three-year teaching certificates to the 72 successful examinees later this month, allowing them to market themselves as officially accredited Chinese language instructors, the release said, adding that certified teachers will need to renew their accreditation every three years.

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