Wed, Aug 10, 2016 - Page 3 News List

MOE working on plan to retire military instructors

By Rachel Lin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A government plan to carry out a legislative directive to retire all military instructors across the nation’s educational establishments by 2020 will be delivered by the end of the month, Deputy Minister of Education Tsai Ching-hwa (蔡清華) said yesterday.

The Legislative Yuan passed a resolution in June 2013 to eventually phase out all military instructors from schools within eight years.

The resolution requires schools to hire more security personnel and fewer military instructors, with the eventual goal of phasing out all military instructors provided it does not compromise student and school safety, he said.

Tsai said the Ministry of Education (MOE) would unveil its plan on guaranteeing future jobs for thousands of military instructors nationwide, adding that the ministry would host a series of meetings with schools, parents, teachers and students to discuss the viability of its plan.

There are currently 900 military instructors in colleges and universities, while senior and vocational high schools have 2,600 instructors.

For instructors who are not yet eligible for retirement and a pension, the MOE is collaborating with the Ministry of National Defense (MND) on the possibility of transferring the instructors to the MND or for them to acquire formal degrees in national defense education, Tsai said.

Inquiries to other government agencies on employment opportunities for former military instructors is also ongoing, he said.

Military instructors are on the payroll of the MOE, which also pays for the hiring of security personnel, Tsai said, adding that the pay for one military instructor is enough to hire 1.5 to 2 professional security personnel.

The MND said it would work closely with the MOE to ensure maximum protection for the rights and benefits of military personnel working as instructors.

Student groups yesterday applauded the MOE’s plans, but said they hoped the ministry would release a timetable for the plan’s implementation.

The ministry should amend the University Act (大學法) to bar the return of the military and political parties to campus, the groups said, adding that such laws would safeguard academic freedom.

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration, with its call for transitional justice, should devote more efforts to eliminating the last vestiges of autocratic rule from educational institutions and see the normalization of education, they said.

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