Sat, Feb 08, 2014 - Page 3 News List

‘Leftists’ setting curriculum, TSU says

NORMAL PROCEDURES:The party’s chairman said that decisions on textbook contents should be made within the Ministry of Education’s standard way of doing things

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

A handful of leftist and radical pro-unification types have been directing the Ministry of Education’s plan to revise the national high-school curriculum, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) said yesterday.

TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) made the remarks amid the ongoing controversy sparked by the ministry’s plan to revise the nation’s high-school curriculum.

The revisions are scheduled to be implemented in September next year — the beginning of that academic year — when one of the major changes is to be the addition of the word “mainland” in references to China in Chinese language and history textbooks. Also, the 50-year period of Japanese rule in Taiwan is to be referred to as the “Japanese colonial period,” according to the revised curriculum.

Opposition spokespeople have lambasted the so-called revisions as a “de-Taiwanification” of the curriculum.

Huang told a press conference held at the party headquarters in Taipei that revisions to national high-school textbooks should be done within the ministry’s system through normal procedures.

However, the proposed revised history curriculum guidelines, which the central government called “minor adjustments,” were decided by a 10-person task force formed outside the ministry, and includes academics who are considered radical leftists who favor rapid unification with China, he added.

Huang said the head of the task force, Wang Hsiao-po (王曉波), a professor at Shih Hsin University, is vice chairman of the Chinese Unification Union, and that another task force member, Hsieh Ta-ning (謝大寧), a professor at Fo Guang University, has previously argued that Taiwanese and Chinese students should use the same textbooks.

Another task force member, Pan Chao-yang (潘朝陽), a professor at National Taiwan Normal University, previously made a comment saying that people of Taiwan who advocate Taiwanese alliances with the US and Japan to counter China ought to be considered “traitors to Han Chinese (漢奸),” Huang said.

Huang panned the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government for trying to control students’ thought and monopolizing interpretation of Taiwanese history.

He asked the ministry to suspend the plan and have it subjected to customary procedures.

The ministry should suspend the planned revision, Huang said, adding that the ministry should also hold a number of discussions to hear opinions from high-school teachers and the public.

Shih Cheng-feng (施正鋒), a professor at National Dong Hwa University, who was also present at the press conference, said that the ministry announced the proposed revision after the legislative session went into recess, saying it was trying to dodge the legislative body’s scrutiny.

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