Wed, Apr 25, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Hotelier calls for merging arts, crafts in education

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan needs to infuse its own culture into its technical and vocational education programs and use art to cultivate talent and help them reach the top of their profession, a hotelier said on Monday.

“The key to technical and vocational education reform is to shed the traditional concept of nurturing plasterers and craftsmen, or chefs and engineers, and move toward integrating ‘art’ into their crafts,” said Landis Hotels and Resorts group president Stanley Yen (嚴長壽), who is also popularly known in the country as the “godfather of the hotel industry.”

Taiwan needs to identify its own advantages, such as its democratic achievements, “deep Chinese cultural roots” and civilized lifestyle, and incorporate them into the technical and vocational education system, Yen added.

Yen said that technical and vocational education underwent a dramatic change in 1999 when colleges were upgraded into universities.

Though universities in name, those colleges are in fact general schools, requiring students to study a broad range of subjects rather than developing expertise in any specific field, Yen said.

That policy needs to be adjusted because times have changed, he said, urging people to identify their own strengths and address their problems.

“Only if the technical and vocational education system integrates culture and civilization can Taiwan differentiate itself,” Yen said.

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