Thu, Aug 20, 2009 - Page 3 News List

MORAKOT: THE AFTERMATH: Central government to pay victims' tuition fees

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Minister of Education Cheng Jei-cheng (鄭瑞城) said yesterday that the central government would fully cover the tuition fees of students whose families have been seriously affected by Typhoon Morakot.

During the ministry’s annual meeting of high school principals in Taoyuan, Cheng said ministry data showed that 31 schools had sustained serious damage during the typhoon and the mudslides that followed.

Eight schools had been completely destroyed and their students needed to be relocated to other schools, Cheng said.

Cheng said the central government had resolved to fully subsidize the tuition fees and lunches of those affected and would grant students other stipends if they had lost family members or had their home destroyed during the catastrophe.

The latest ministry statistics showed that the damage to the nation’s schools amounted to NT$1.95 billion (US$59 million).

Schools in Kaohsiung County suffered the most damage — about NT$530 million — while those in Tainan County were next on the list, with damage put at N$510 million.

Meanwhile, the Kaohsiung City Government launched a plan to accommodate victims from nearby Kaohsiung County and Pingtung County free of charge and help school-age children relocate to schools in the city.

Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Lee Yung-te (李永得) told reporters that the city government would also provide the children with free school lunches, adding that the plan would be effective for a maximum of a year.

Several cities and counties have offered to accept students from disaster-hit areas.

The Taipei City Government said last Thursday that it would offer 4,200 places at municipal schools to help students from disaster-hit areas continue their schooling.

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