The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government is under fire from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers for slashing the budget for mother tongue language learning by 42 percent.
The lawmakers said the cut amounted to “President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) regime driving Taiwanese languages out of the education system.”
DPP Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) on Wednesday said the Ministry of Education has cut the budget for programs for Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Hakka and Aboriginal languages for junior high and elementary schools.
Lin said the budget was reduced to NT$52 million (US$1.75 million) for this year, compared with more than NT$70 million in last year’s budget and more than NT$90 million two years ago.
The budget for research, development and organizing the language proficiency certification program for Hoklo has been slashed from NT$40 million to NT$17 million, a reduction of 58 percent, Lin said.
As a result of the cutbacks, the number of students learning Hoklo, Hakka and Aboriginal languages is declining, with 119,000 fewer students last year compared to 2011, Lin said.
Lin and other DPP lawmakers took aim at the Ma government’s language policies during a meeting of the legislature’s Education Committee on Wednesday.
A number of them, including Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) and Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲), said that a lack of job opportunities for graduates of native language studies is creating a crisis for the 18 universities and colleges that have departments for the study of Hoklo, Hakka or Aboriginal languages because fewer students are willing to enroll in these programs.
Minister of Education Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧) told the lawmakers he would seek additional funding for native-language programs and find ways to ensure there are more work opportunities for native language-major graduates.
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
Instead of hating the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), help change it, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said, as he urged young people to join efforts to reform the party. As the nation marked Youth Day on Sunday, Chiang said in a Facebook post that he wanted to remind people that “the KMT used to be very young.” Now, when people think of the KMT, they equate it with older people, he wrote. “Even if [the KMT] is a 100-year-old party, it must maintain a young mentality, and understand what young people want and what they want the KMT to do,” Chiang wrote.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time