Mon, Oct 26, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Parents demand restoration of BCT

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Parents gather outside Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s campaign headquarters in Taipei yesterday to ask her to support the restoration of the Basic Competence Test for Junior High School Students.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) campaign headquarters yesterday promised to cautiously review high-school entrance programs, following a demonstration by a parents’ group, demanding that the Basic Competence Test for Junior-High School Students (BCT) be restored as the qualifying exam for senior high-school admission.

Holding placards reading: “Restore the BCT to make people worry-free” and “Parents support whoever supports parents,” members of the National Parents’ Alliance for 12-year Compulsory Education yesterday rallied outside Tsai’s campaign headquarters in Taipei, saying that if elected, Tsai should restore the BCT, as the current senior high-school entrance programs are too complicated.

“We demand the BCT be restored because it better accommodates the characteristics of different students. For instance, students with special talents might be directly admitted into high school without taking the exam, but for the 12-year compulsory education program, everyone is required to follow the Comprehensive Assessment Program for Junior High-School Students [CAP] exam,” alliance president Chow Mei-li (周美里) said.

Junior high-school graduates might, to some extent, decide whether they would like to attend a senior-high school or a vocational school based on the results of the BCT, Chow said.

They would also have the ability to choose to apply for admission based on their own academic records and extracurricular activities, as well as whether they would like to attend a school near their home, the alliance said.

They might also choose not to take the BCT if they meet the criteria to be admitted to the schools they would like to attend, the alliance said.

On the other hand, the CAP is compulsory for all junior high-school graduates, making the threshold for senior high-school admission higher, as students have to be prepared for not only the exams, but also extracurricular activities.

Alliance vice president Chen Chi-chen (陳綺貞) called on Tsai to increase communication with parents whose children are actually in junior-high school and are seeking senior high-school admission.

“A platform for communication should be established, so that [Tsai] will not only listen to the opinions of some think tanks or ‘tenured parents,’ whose children have already graduated,” she said.

The parents were addressed by the DPP’s Taiwan Academy for Democracy director Yiong Cong-ziin (楊長鎮), who said that the party could not say whether the BCT would be restored if the DPP returns to the power, but promised that the DPP would gather more opinions and make careful considerations before coming up with a policy.

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