Sat, Aug 25, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Taipei City continues spat with Ministry of Education

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei City Government yesterday shrugged off the Ministry of Education's plan to oversee high school admissions, saying it would go ahead with its proposal to hold competency exams with Taipei County and Keelung City in 2011.

The Ministry of Education published a draft amendment of the Senior High School Law (高級中等學校法) on Thursday which would authorize the ministry to regulate high school admissions and school districts.

At present, high schools and vocational schools fall under the jurisdiction of their local city governments.

"The ministry is trying to centralize power and prevent Taipei from holding its own exams. It's against the spirit of education deregulation," Commissioner of Taipei City's Education Department Wu Ching-chi (吳清基) told a press conference at Taipei City Hall.

Wu said the ministry's proposal would not affect the city's plan to standardize school textbooks in Taipei City, Taipei County and Keelung next year before holding competency exams in 2011.

Wu said the city government welcomed the ministry's move to label municipal high schools as "national" high schools, but added that standardized textbooks and local competency exams would reduce the burden on students.

"The ministry's proposal has already raised concerns among schools and parents and it is not certain that the draft will pass the legislature. We will just continue with our plans," he said, adding that the department would voice its opposition to the draft in a public hearing to be held next week.

The city government has been at odds with the ministry over the issues of standardization of textbooks and local competency exams.

During his election campaign, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) promised to standardize textbooks in the city to "reduce the burden" on middle school students.

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