Wed, Apr 14, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Teaching traditional Chinese characters still policy: MOE

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday it would retain its policy of teaching local students traditional Chinese characters after a parent complained that his child was assigned simplified characters for homework.

In a press release, the ministry’s Department of Elementary Education said that promoting traditional Chinese characters in school had always been — and remained — the ministry’s policy.

“Traditional Chinese characters are important cultural assets. Their significance as documented in historical documents is undeniable,” the department said.

“Traditional Chinese characters should be adopted at school, in textbooks and teaching assignments since promotion of the characters is a national policy,” the department said.

In a story yesterday, the ­Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) quoted a parent as saying that his second grade child could “get confused” by homework that required writing using simplified characters.

The story quoted the parent as saying that the child’s teacher at an elementary school in Taipei County’s Gongliao Township (貢寮) invited the Chinese parents of students in the class to teach a few sessions, after which the students were asked to learn to write in simplified form.

The parent questioned the need for second graders to learn simplified characters, saying that his child could not even write traditional characters well.

The story also quoted the teacher, surnamed Chang, as saying that the sessions were part of lessons to help students with foreign mothers learn their mothers’ culture.

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