Sat, May 13, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Taipei bans ‘stage names’ for cram-school teachers

RECRUITMENT:Cram schools are required to display their teachers’ real names, national identification number and criminal record checks, a city official said

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Taipei yesterday became the first city in the nation to ban its 2,160 cram schools from using teachers’ “professional” or “stage names” when recruiting students.

The announcement came one day after Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said the ministry plans to amend the Supplementary Education Act (補習及進修教育法) to require cram schools to provide teachers’ real names to better inform parents and students.

Effective yesterday, cram schools are to display all teachers’ real names in advertisements and syllabi, department division head Mu Hui-yi (穆慧儀) said.

Cram schools are required to log on to the city’s online cram-school management platform and update their lists of teachers within two weeks, as well as ensure that the rosters remain up to date, Mu said.

Aside from providing teachers’ real names, they should fill in the teachers’ national identity number, educational attainment and three-month criminal record checks, Mu said.

Teachers better known by their “stage names” can place their pseudonyms in brackets next to their real names, she said.

Cram schools are to be given a three-month grace period to change their advertisements to bring them in line with the new regulations, she said, adding that the department would conduct inspections during this period.

Those that fail to follow the rules after the grace period will be given one month to make the necessary changes or be fined between NT$5,000 and NT$300,000, she said.

Cram schools that refuse to comply would be banned from recruiting students, she said.

However, they need not make changes to their signs or billboards if they are registered with the department, she said.

Cram-school owners that are also teachers will be allowed to continue advertising using their stage names if their stage names match the titles under which their institutes are registered, but will be required to provide their real names on syllabi, flyers and other advertisements, she said.

The department is to propose an amendment to a bylaw governing cram schools for the rule to become law, Mu said.

Several well-known cram-school teachers have said they will apply with their household registration offices to officially adopt their stage names to prevent the regulations from affecting recruitment, she said.

Asked why the schools are only required to provide criminal record checks dating to three months ago, Mu said that is in line with the rule stipulated in the Guidelines on the Establishment and Management of Cram Schools, which is a national — not municipal — regulation.

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