The Ministry of Education is a step below an “amoeba” for implementing plans for the national 12 year education plan in the face of public opposition, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.
“Even an amoeba will change course if it is shocked,” Ko said, adding that the ministry should not be less “evolved” than an amoeba in adapting to public opposition to its 12-year education plan, urging it to allow for legal changes.
Complicated admission formulas and a lesser role for standardized testing have made implementation of the ministry’s plans controversial, resulting in a months-long standoff last year between the city government and the ministry.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Ko on Monday called for “special admissions” to be allowed before “exam-free admissions” for the school district that encompasses Taipei, New Taipei City and Keelung, triggering renewed debate.
While “special admissions” for students with unique musical, athletic or professional skills already take place prior to “exam-free admissions,” the Taipei Department of Education said it would like to allow “special admissions” for students with high scores on standardized tests in other subjects.
At present, admissions based wholly on test scores take place only after the “exam-free admissions” process is completed.
Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) has said the proposed change would violate the Senior Secondary Education Act (高級中等教育法).
The ministry also rejected Taipei’s calls for the use of “rulers” in admissions formulas, which would increase the importance of standardized test scores.
“The ministry needs to hear the opinions of parents and children on 12-year education,” Ko said.
“The Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] should not forget that the 12-year compulsory education plan was a major reason they lost last year’s [nine-in-one] elections,” he said.
The Taipei Department of Education said its proposed changes had been suggested as part of efforts to persuade the ministry to give school districts more flexibility in determining their admissions plans.
The proposed changes would only require amending the administrative regulations governing high-school admissions, it said.
The admissions plans for the next year for the Taipei-New Taipei City-Keelung district high schools are to be announced by August.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan
The Taipei City Government yesterday said that construction on the long-suspended Taipei Dome can resume immediately, after it approved a request by the project’s main contractor, Farglory Group. In a statement, the Taipei Construction Management Office said that after it on July 16 issued a new building permit, Farglory submitted revised design plans and an application to resume construction, which the office approved on Friday. Construction had been suspended on the dome, near the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Xinyi District (信義), for more than five years due to disagreements between the city and the company over the safety of some of