Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday defended her education policy and rebutted the government’s criticism that her education platform is too “idealistic.”
Tsai said on Friday that if she won January’s presidential election, the DPP’s goal was to implement a mandatory 12-year school program all at once.
The compulsory education system now includes six years of elementary school and three years of junior-high school.
“It is very disappointed that the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] government, in response to my education policy, said it was too idealistic,” Tsai said during a campaign stop in Greater Taichung yesterday.
The DPP’s 10-year political platform — comprising 18 chapters on 18 different issues — was the result of the party’s research meetings and hearings with academics, specialists and opinion leaders over the past two years, Tsai said, adding that it showed the party’s seriousness in dealing with the various issues facing the country.
“As a responsible party, the DPP is willing to commit to the public and take hard challenges, and if the government always says this is too difficult, that is too difficult, it is an irresponsible government,” Tsai said.
On criticism leveled by KMT officials that the financial burden of implementing a mandatory 12-year school program would be too great, Tsai, saying that the KMT government has accumulated NT$1.3 trillion (US$44.8 billion) in debt over the past three years, said that if the government only spent money on necessary things, it could do many things without accumulating huge deficits.