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.
LONG-TERM ALLIANCE: Using the company’s virtual development tools would help reduce cost and spur innovation at the research institute, an official said The Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute (TSRI) has partnered with Synopsys Taiwan to accelerate the development of next-generation semiconductors, with researchers being allowed to use the chip design company’s simulation tools, the National Applied Research Laboratories said yesterday. The institute is one of eight laboratories of the national research agency. The institute has signed a contract with Synopsys that allows researchers to use its simulation software — Sentaurus TCAD and Quantum ATK — free of charge, the agency said in a news release. The Synopsys Web site describes Sentaurus TCAD as an advanced 1D, 2D and 3D process simulator for developing and optimizing chip
MONITORED BY JETS: Chinese aircraft included Y-20 aerial refueling aircraft, suggesting that China refueled its short-range jets during flight The air force scrambled again yesterday to warn away 27 Chinese aircraft that entered its air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the Ministry of National Defense said, the latest increase in tensions across the sensitive Taiwan Strait. Taiwan has complained for a year or more of repeated missions by China’s air force near the nation, often in the southwestern part of its ADIZ, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). Over a four-day period beginning on Oct. 1, when China marked its national day, Taiwan said that nearly 150 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military aircraft entered its ADIZ, not territorial
DESTABILIZING: Beijing’s efforts to choke Taiwan, pressure its friends and hamper its democracy are a threat to the world, AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk said China’s provocative military activities near Taiwan are destabilizing and risk “miscalculation,” American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk said yesterday, reiterating the US’ objection to any unilateral changes to the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait. Oudkirk made the remarks in a speech at the annual conference of the Association of International Relations in Taipei. “In the Indo-Pacific region, America’s effort to resolve and manage differences with the leadership of the People’s Republic of [PRC] faces distinct challenges,” she said, referencing a range of actions by China that she said run counter to the shared values and interests of the
EXTRADITION POSSIBLE? The suspect, who is quarantining upon arrival in Xiamen, is accused of killing a coffee trader on a street near his house in Sindian District The suspect in an execution-style murder of a businessman in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店) has fled to China and officials are negotiating his extradition, the New Taipei City Police Department said on Tuesday. The suspect, surnamed Huang (黃), took a flight from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 2pm on that day to Xiamen, where he is staying in a quarantine hotel, as required by Chinese COVID-19 regulations, the department said. Investigators accuse Huang of shooting dead a local coffee trader surnamed He (何) on a street near his residence when he was returning from dropping off his daughter at her