Two student-rights advocates returned to the main site of protests over high-school curriculum guideline changes yesterday, completing a national walking tour to highlight the issue.
Hsu Kuan-tse (許冠澤) and Chou Tzu-hsiang (周子翔) led a parade of students and rights advocates in front of the Ministry of Education building for the final leg of the tour, shouting: “Reject black box procedures”; “Oppose brain-washing education”; and “Students are not idiots” as they marched in pouring rain to the ministry gates.
“I have already given up on ministry officials — no matter what you say, they do not listen,” Hsu said. “Eventually, when we grow up, we will take over [their] positions and do a better job.”
Photo: Weng Yu-huang, Taipei Times
Hsu said that while he had kept his word, finishing a nationwide walk, Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) had broken his promise to publicize the names of members of the committee that approved controversial “fine-tuning” of social studies guidelines.
At an Aug. 3 meeting with student leaders, Wu said he would publicize the names within 10 days, if the committee members gave their consent.
Hsu last week attempted to meet Wu at a summer school promotional event Wu was to attend at an elementary school in Jian Township (吉安) in Hualien, but Wu canceled his participation after hearing that student-rights advocates would be there.
Photo: Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Chou said that after completing the tour he feels like he has “fully experienced life’s hardships,” adding that he plans to focus on promoting student activism in schools and prepare for college entrance exams next year.
The pair began their tour from the ministry’s gate on July 23, walking an average of 10 to 14 hours a day, covering 1,100km, they said, adding that they presented petitions to city and county governments to oppose the guidelines.
According to media reports, they were followed by police throughout their tour, during which they staged protests, including the disruption of a ceremony for National Kaohsiung Normal University president Wu Lien-shang (吳連賞), who was reportedly on the committee that approved the guidelines.
RISK FACTORS: ‘We hope people can cooperate and endure it ... it is possibly the very important last mile,’ Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations are to remain the same next month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center reported 42,112 new local COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths, saying that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped to a new low this month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said that the center is keeping COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations the same due to the local virus situation, and an increase in the number of imported cases of the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2, among other risk factors. Easing
TRAVEL CONFERENCE: Representatives from the two countries exchanged views on how to increase tourist numbers, with one identifying individual travel as a trend Taiwan and South Korea aim to increase the number of tourists traveling between the two countries to 3 million, government and tourism industry representatives said at a conference in Hsinchu City yesterday. The annual event was attended by Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯); Tourism Bureau Director-General Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰); Taiwan Visitors Association chairwoman Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭); South Korean Representative to Taiwan Chung Byung-won; Yoon Ji-sook, an official at the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; and Korea Association of Travel Agents chairman Oh Chang-hee. Global tourism is expected to soon rebound to between 55 and
DAMAGE CONTROL: The KMT in a statement called the Taiwan Strait ‘international waters,’ after Alexander Huang said China had the right to claim it as internal waters Lawmakers and experts yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) envoy to the US Alexander Huang (黃介正) of acting as China’s stooge, after he said that Beijing has the right to claim waters beyond its maritime territory as its exclusive economic zone and that the US has no legal basis to assert that the Taiwan Strait is an “international waterway.” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said in an online post that most of the world considers the Strait an international waterway, adding that this is important for safeguarding Taiwan. “We have seen US warships transiting through the Taiwan Strait.
The Taichung District Court yesterday sentenced to nine years in prison an unlicensed judo coach who caused the death of a seven-year-old student after slamming him onto the ground more than a dozen times. In its decision against the coach, a man surnamed Ho (何), the court cited his lack of remorse for using excessive force against an inadequately trained child and his failure to reconcile with the parents for his role in their son’s death. Speaking on behalf of the boy’s mother, Taichung City Councilor Jacky Chen (陳清龍) said the family would appeal to a higher court. Prosecutors said that Ho on