Tue, Oct 03, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Education ministry urged to release tape of meeting

KMT DEMAND:The ministry said the transcript of the Sept. 10 meeting would be released after members confirm extracts during their next meeting on Oct. 15

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday demanded that Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) publicize the recording of the ministry’s curriculum review committee’s Sept. 10 meeting amid public questioning of the ratio of classical Chinese content in high-school Chinese-language studies.

Several proposals were made during the meeting, including eliminating classical Chinese content from Chinese-language classes, reducing it to 40 to 50 percent or 30 to 40 percent, setting the content level at 30 percent or leaving the decision to teachers.

None of the proposals won more than half the votes from the 48-member committee, Pan told a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Education and Culture Committee, adding it was an unprecedented situation.

When the committee meeting dragged on to 8pm, he said he “asked” the members if they agreed to maintain the original proposal of 45 to 55 percent. When no one voiced objection, the meeting was ended, Pan said, emphasizing that his question was not a final “ruling.”

At the curriculum review committee’s next meeting on Sept. 23, a decision to reduce the content level to 35 percent and 45 percent was made after due deliberation procedure of discussion and voting, he said, adding that it was not a “reversal,” as some media reports said, but a continuation of the unfinished discussions of Sept. 10.

K-12 Education Administration Director-General Chiu Chien-kuo (邱乾國) apologized to the Education and Culture Committee for not making it clear on Sept. 10 that the original proposal still had to be confirmed by the entire curriculum review committee.

However, KMT Legislator Ko Chih-en (柯志恩) yesterday said that the curriculum review committee should have “confirmed” its last meeting’s minutes on Sept. 23 instead of “overthrowing” its previous conclusion without launching a new motion.

Ko called on Pan to release the recording of the Sept. 10 meeting, but Pan said he would have to get approval from the curriculum review committee members to do so.

KMT Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖), one of the two conveners of the Education and Culture Committee, said that Pan could publicize the recording of just his comments, and that he should do so by noon today.

Non-Partisan Solidarity Union Legislator May Chin (高金素梅) questioned Pan’s ability to chair the curriculum review committee and urged the ministry to livestream its future meetings.

The ministry on Sunday issued a statement announcing that the transcript of the Sept. 10 meeting would be released after curriculum review committee members confirm the “extracts” of their comments when they next meet, which is to be on Oct. 15.

“It is regrettable the discussion about curriculum guidelines was reduced to conflicts between classical and modern Chinese, between pro-Taiwan independence and pro-unification values,” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Su Chiao-hui (蘇巧慧) said yesterday.

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