Although Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) has been taught at the nation’s schools for the past 10 years, many academics yesterday said Hoklo education was still in crisis because there were not enough qualified teachers.
The academics urged the government to create a certification system for local language teachers, and to establish a national-level commission on ethnic and language affairs.
Li Khin-huann (李勤岸), chairman of Tai-uan Bo-gi Lian-bing (Taiwan Mother Tongue Alliance) and the chair of National Taiwan Normal University’s Department of Taiwanese Culture, Language and Literature, said at a forum held yesterday to address the issue that while there were government institutions specializing in handling Aboriginal and Hakka affairs, there was no such institution for the Hoklo language and people, which he called “unfair” and “discriminatory.” He therefore urged a national-level commission on ethnic and language affairs to promote the languages, cultures and literature of different ethnic groups in the country.
He added that a certification exam for Hoklo language teachers would improve the quality of language education. He also suggested that public servants who pass the exam should be rewarded.
In addition, Li said that Hoklo language education should be in place from kindergarten all the way to junior-high school, and that in every county and city, there should be at least one “all mother tongue” school for each language group.
Cheng An-chu (鄭安住), a Ministry of Education official in charge of language education, also said a lack of professional teachers was a big issue in Hoklo language education.