Tue, Sep 29, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Teachers’ group backs proposal on cram school limit

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The National Teachers Association (NTA) showed support yesterday for a Ministry of Education plan to ban cram schools from recruiting students under the age of six.

In a press release, the NTA said the majority of Taiwanese parents send children to cram schools for English lessons or other subjects at an early age.

“Normally, however, students should be able to master [Chinese and English] lessons when they attend school. Why should we allow parents and other adults who treat education as a market to deprive the nation’s children of their childhood?” the NTA said.

The NTA was responding to the ministry’s plan to amend the Supplementary and Continuing Education Act (補習及進修教育法).

The Chinese-language China Times reported yesterday that the ministry planned to introduce an article to the Act that would ban cram schools from accepting children younger than six.

The story quoted an unidentified official from the ministry as saying that the article would not apply to cram schools that help children learn body movement or cultivate their taste for art.

The ministry proposed a similar amendment in 2007. The proposal passed the first reading despite strong opposition from cram schools, but the proposal never cleared the legislative floor before the sixth legislature completed its term.

One mother said that if the proposal passes it would cause her great inconvenience, adding that the ministry should allow young children to attend cram schools.

An English cram school representative surnamed Lan said she found the proposed amendment ridiculous because “the government was trying to pass legislation to ban people from learning.”

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