Nearly 100 preschool teachers yesterday rallied outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei saying the ministry’s reforms on childcare policy of being “hijacked by a select number of interest groups.”
The rally came amid a heated debate involving preschool teachers, childcare workers and private childcare facilities over a proposed amendment to the Early Childhood Education and Care Act (幼兒教育及照顧法).
The protesters urged the ministry to stand firmly behind its proposal to stipulate at least one certified preschool teacher for classes of children aged between five and six years old.
The ministry recently agreed to lengthen the “buffer period” for preschools to fulfill the requirement from five years to eight years, fueling speculation that the requirement might be terminated altogether under pressure from private for-profit preschools.
The preschool teachers said that private preschools are lobbying to abolish the requirement to reduce their personnel costs, as the salaries for certified preschool teachers are higher than childcare workers.
With bright red banners tied across their foreheads, the preprotesters marched and chanted slogans in front of the ministry as a meeting between the ministry and four representatives from preschool associations was held inside.
At a news conference earlier, preschool teachers’ representatives said that the ministry should respect their professional credentials.
Renoir Creative School founder Su Wei-hsin (蘇偉馨) blasted the ministry for engaging in what she described as secret discussions with select preschool associations and of ignoring the voices of other stakeholders.
She said that while childcare workers might have years of experience in taking care of children, many lack professional expertise.
“If experience were that important, then any grandmother could get a job at a preschool,” Su said. “Sometimes experience obstructs progress.”
Chang Yu-liang (張宇梁), a professor of education administration at National Chiayi University, told the news conference that he supports the establishment of certification measures for childcare workers as well, as it would serve to raise their wages.
In response, section chief on early education Wang Hui-chiu (王慧秋) said that the ministry would hold meetings involving more nationwide organizations next month.
On Monday, opposing rallies led by childcare workers and preschool teachers clashed outside the legislature as they backed differing views on the amendment.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,