Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday visited Taipei Confucius Temple to pray for students ahead of the first high school joint entrance exams the city has organized with New Taipei City and Keelung City this weekend, assuring students that the questions would be drawn from the single-version textbooks adopted by the three cities.
The first joint entrance exams will be held tomorrow and Sunday under the single-version textbook policy, one of Hau’s major campaign promises to standardize middle school textbooks and reduce exam pressure on students.
Heading a delegation of city officials visiting the temple yesterday, Hau prayed for the blessing of more than 70,000 examinees and prepared 200 gifts, which included pencils and cakes symbolizing good luck in an exam, for students and their parents.
When asked about some the lack of air conditioning in schools on exam days, Hau said it was the Ministry of Education’s decision to ban air conditioning at all schools because some are not equipped with air conditioners.
“It’s the policy to ban air conditioning at all schools to ensure fairness. I am worried about high temperatures on exam day, but hopefully students will be able to handle the heat,” he said.
The ministry said all schools would complete the installation of air conditioners by July at the latest, thereby making air conditioning available for the second joint entrance exam early that month.
A secretary at the temple, Shih Shu-li (施淑梨), said 200 free gifts would be sent out today and 1,000 tomorrow and she invited students and parents to visit the temple and claim them before the test.