Wed, Mar 04, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Premier says he disagrees with Hoklo cash cut

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) said yesterday that he disagreed with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators’ rejection of the budget request for Hoklo accreditation examinations.

Liu told Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) and Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) during a legislative session that he would do his best to remedy the lack of funding for the examinations this year.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) released its Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese) proficiency accreditation guidelines on Nov. 21, 2007, in a bid to establish a national language proficiency mechanism.

The ministry had planned to require that all Hoklo teachers pass the proficiency test by 2011.

However, in the previous session the legislature approved a motion by KMT Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) to delete the NT$40 million (US$1.1 million) budget submitted by the MOE to hold the tests this year.

Hung argued at the time that she was saving taxpayers’ money.

“I’m not against preserving languages, but the education ministry has other budgets related to language and culture,” she said. “Besides, we don’t have enough good teachers and there are too many different versions of materials.”

Hung’s move prompted a demonstration outside the Legislative Yuan last Friday.

The premier yesterday rebutted DPP legislator speculation that Hung initiated the motion at the Cabinet’s request.

He said the Cabinet would request a budget to hold the examinations next year.

Chen Hsueh-yu (陳雪玉), executive secretary and a senior inspector at the ministry’s National Languages Committee, said on Friday that the ministry would not be able to hold the exams this year as a result of the budget cuts.

She said the ministry would consider ways of improving the proficiency of Hoklo teachers.

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