Hakka is likely to be incorporated into the Senior Civil Servant Examination starting next year, becoming the first ethnic language to be included in the testing of linguistic skills in the national examination program, the Minister of Examinations Tung Pao-cheng (董保城) has said.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wu Yi-chen (吳宜臻), who is of Hakka descent, has repeatedly asked the Ministry of Examinations to add Hakka to the tests undertaken by hopeful civil servants. Government officials dealing with Hakka affairs must be fluent in Hakka, she added.
In response, Tung pledged that as early as next year, testing for Hakka proficiency could be included in part of the civil service examination.
Currently, the Senior Civil Servant Examination for “Hakka Affairs Administration” includes a test on Chinese literature, English proficiency and legal knowledge, as well as tests pertaining to administration law, public administration, sociology, public policy, Hakka history and culture and Hakka politics and economy.
With the planned addition of Hakka proficiency tests, one subject in the current “Hakka Affairs Administration” examination would have to be dropped, according to Tung, saying that it could either be Hakka history and culture, or Hakka politics and economy.
Officials have pointed out that four months advance notice is required for any changes to the Senior Civil Servant Examination and thus a decision on the matter would have to be made before February next year if a Hakka proficiency test was to be included in the exams set to be held next year.
Currently with the national examination system, it is only under the category of “News Administration” that examinees are required to be tested for either “Mandarin Broadcasting” and “Hoklo Broadcasting,” or “Mandarin Broadcasting” and “Hakka Broadcasting.”
However, neither Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) nor Hakka are considered official subjects to be tested.
Special examinations for Taiwanese Aboriginal people currently only involves Aboriginal history, Aboriginal regulations and policies and does not include testing in Aboriginal languages.