Fri, Jun 13, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Aborigines given 'bonus point' exams

LANGUAGE TEST LEG-UP Aboriginal students who achieve a 60 percent pass in the test will be given a 35 percent bonus increase in their school entrance exam

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Aboriginal students who are planning to take school entrance exams may sign up for an Aboriginal language proficiency test for bonus points, Council of Indigenous Peoples Minister Chang Jen-hsiang (章仁香) said yesterday in Taipei.

“All Aboriginal students planning to take high school, vocational school or college entrance exams this year or next year are qualified to take the test,” Chang told the news conference. “The goal of the test is to preserve Aboriginal languages and cultures and give an advantage to Aboriginal students competing for a place at a school.”

Those who achieve a 60 percent pass rate in the proficiency test will be given a 35 percent bonus in the entrance exam.

“The bonus points are being given to Aboriginal students because most of them live in economically disadvantaged areas that lack educational resources,” Chang said. “Requiring them to pass the test to receive the bonus is a way to encourage them not to forget their native languages.”

Tests in the 43 dialects of the 14 Aboriginal languages spoken in the nation are offered, said Sawaya Teasan, a council spokesman.

The exams differ from other language proficiency tests in that students are only tested on their listening and speaking abilities, a news release with details about the exams said.

The tests will be provided in November at 16 test centers around the nation, including Kinmen and Matsu. Registration opens on Monday and runs through July 15.

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