‘Borrowed classes’ common
Almost all high school students have had teachers cancel some classes and replace them with others, a survey released on Monday by a local rights group found. The practice of “borrowing” classes, in which teachers often substitute academic classes for subjects they consider less important, such as art or physical education, has long been prevalent because of the pressure on students to excel academically. The poll, conducted by the Taiwan Alliance for Advancement of Youth Rights and Welfare, found the practice was widespread, with 97 percent of respondents saying their teachers had done it. Although the Ministry of Education has been promoting balanced and holistic education, 64 percent of students have one to five of their classes a month “borrowed” for other purposes, and one out of 10 students have 10 classes a month changed, the alliance said. The poll, conducted from July 26 to Saturday last week, collected 2,236 valid samples.
Guangdong alert issued
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have issued a Level-2 travel advisory for China’s Guangdong Province after a case of H7N9 avian flu infection was confirmed there. The patient was a 51-year-old woman working in the poultry slaughtering industry, the agency said, adding that she has been hospitalized in serious condition. The agency said it issued the alert over the weekend after it received confirmation from China’s disease prevention and control center of the infection. The was the first confirmed H7N9 case in China since early last month. Under the CDC’s three-level travel advisory system, a Level-2 alert calls for would-be travelers to maintain a high degree of caution and take protective measures, especially when they visiting high-risk places. Meanwhile, the Council of Agriculture said it will strengthen poultry and wild bird monitoring and prevent poultry slaughtering at traditional marketplaces.
Buzzfeed lists attractions
Night markets, tasty food and a convenient lifestyle rank among the top reasons to love Taipei, according to media Web site BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed staffer Kevin Tang has listed 28 reasons why Taipei is so great, with its 7-Eleven outlets topping the list because customers can pay their utility bills, buy concert tickets, send express mail or buy food and alcohol around the clock. Other items on the list include the city’s election culture, its cafes, Eslite’s 24-hour bookstore and natural attractions such as Yangmingshan and Beitou’s hot springs. Other attractions are its night markets, preponderance of beef noodle soup shops and “weird” theme restaurants.
Star search launched
A Chinese online video community and a Taiwan-based entertainment company on Monday said they will launch a platform to find aspiring stars in Taiwan. Net Stars Asia Entertainment Co, which trains aspiring performers, and guagua.cn announced their alliance in Taipei. It is part of the Chinese Web site’s plan to invest 200 million yuan (US$32.65 million) to search for and train stars in China and Taiwan this year. The Web site, established in 2008, allows members to upload videos showcasing their talents or watch videos submitted by others. It has more than 75 million registered members, according to On My Own, a Taiwanese marketing firm that is working with the two companies.