Pro-localization groups yesterday rallied to support a growing movement involving students from more than 200 high schools nationwide against the implementation of “China-centric” curriculum guidelines.
Restoration of Taiwan Social Justice convener Lin Yu-lun (林于倫) said that should Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) insist that the guidelines be adopted for senior-high school textbooks on the Chinese language and social sciences in August, “we will [take the fight] to the street in July.”
“Wu Se-haw, get ready to step down,” Lin said at a news conference.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
Senior and vocational high school students are planning to hold a rally in Taipei next month against the policy, Action Coalition of Civics Teacher spokesperson Huang Yi-chung (黃益中) said.
The groups said that they would provide the students with the resources to arouse and mobilize their peers nationwide in the build-up to the rally, including legal assistance should the young people face prosecution over their actions.
“We have been receiving phone calls from the public in recent days urging us to step forward in supporting the appeals made by the nation’s seedlings,” Northern Taiwan Society chairman Chang Yeh-shen (張葉森) said.
“Your [The students’] courage to change the destiny of the nation has our support,” Chang said.
Despite a ruling by the Taipei High Administrative Court in February in favor of Taiwan Association for Human Rights against the ministry over the procedure by which the “minor adjustments” to the guidelines were made, Wu has repeatedly vowed that the new guidelines would be adopted as planned.
Senior and vocational high school students have become the latest group to protest the policy, following in the footsteps of academic, high-school teachers and parents’ groups, as well as non-governmental organizations.
The latest movement involves students from at least 221 senior and vocational high schools.
In a bid to quell growing dissatisfaction with the policy, the ministry yesterday said it would host four hearings in campuses next week to hear what students and teachers have to say about the curriculum guidelines.
The first hearing is to be held on Tuesday at National Taichung First Senior High School, the first school where students staged a sit-in against the curriculum guidelines earlier last month.
It will be followed by two on Saturday next week, at National Tainan Senior High School and at the Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, and one on Sunday next week at National Hsinchu Senior High School.
The ministry said it was happy to see the enthusiastic discussions about the subject on the Facebook Page created by the students, a reflection of youth participation in public issues, and hoped to communicate further with students during the hearings.
Meanwhile, members of the pro-unification Concentric Patriotism Association yesterday gathered outside the ministry to throw their support behind Wu, who they said is a “minister of courage” who dares to “right the wrong.”
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