Thu, Nov 06, 2014 - Page 4 News List

MOE seen as too lax on bushibans

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Ministry of Education policies and their enforcement came in for criticism yesterday at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Education and Culture Committee.

The rapid increase in numbers of bushibans, or cram schools, should make the ministry reconsider its 12-year education plan, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) said.

She said that the plan has increased pressure on students, with the number of registered cram schools more than doubling since the plan was implemented.

Legislators also criticized the ministry for being lax in supervising local government enforcement of cram school regulations, jeopardizing student welfare and safety.

Numerous cram schools brazenly advertise illegal services for young children, KMT Legislator Chiang Nai-hsin (蔣乃辛) said.

Because bushibans are not subject to the same rigorous safety standards as bona fide preschools and kindergartens, their foray into childcare puts students in potential danger, he said.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Ho Hsin-chun (何欣純) said that because of the expansive and complicated licensing system, parents have difficulty discerning which cram schools have actually been approved, particularly among those that offer modeling or acting classes.

Minister of Education Wu Ssu-hua (吳思華) said that the ministry would work to check the licenses of all cram schools and would add conditions to aid it provides to local governments to encourage them to better enforce regulations.

Meanwhile, Chiang called on the ministry and Taipei to reach a compromise on the city’s high-school admissions plan as soon as possible, to avoid further disruption for the city’s students as they prepare for exams in May next year.

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