Wed, May 16, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Group says no candidates back education minister

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

None of the 57 candidates who hope to head the nation’s cities and counties next year consider Minister of Education Wu Maw-kuen (吳茂昆) qualified for his position, the National Federation of Teachers’ Unions said yesterday, citing a survey it conducted.

The group on April 30 demanded that Wu step down after he was accused of illegally receiving research grants, working in China and owning businesses, as well as infringing on patent rights.

Since then it has announced a series of moves to oppose him, including urging teachers not to take any orders from the Ministry of Education or attend meetings presided over by Wu.

It surveyed 57 mayoral and county commissioner candidates across party lines, the group said.

Of the 17 candidates who responded, 16 said Wu is unqualified to be education minister.

Of the 16, 13 are from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), two are independents and one is from the Taiwan Solidarity Union, it said.

While Nantou County Commissioner Lin Ming-chen (林明溱) also responded, the group quoted him as saying that he “would prefer not to comment on the subject.”

“The result shows that almost all respondents consider Wu unqualified, regardless of their political affiliation,” the federation said.

While no incumbent candidates — other than Lin — responded to the survey, they might have chosen not to express their opinions because their governments need funding from the ministry, it said.

None of 20 Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidates, including incumbents, said Wu is qualified to be the minister.

“It was not surprising to find that some DPP candidates preferred not to speak about the subject, but it was shocking that not one of them was willing to openly support Wu,” the federation said, adding that the survey confirms how unqualified the minister is.

Almost all teachers’ unions and more than 15 parents’ associations have openly asked Wu to step down, the group said.

The government should replace Wu as soon as possible, federation president Chang Hsu-cheng (張旭政) said, adding that the series of allegations against him have raised questions about his integrity, and his lack of support would make it difficult for the ministry to promote any policies.

Additional reporting Rachel Lin

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