The Alliance for Education Action yesterday announced the results of its review of the education platforms of candidates running for mayor in the six special municipalities, including their plans to promote gender equality, improve education quality and balance students’ stress.
The alliance on Nov. 1 published a list of questions for the candidates, including how they would promote gender equality education and whether they agree its content should be appropriate to the students’ age, adding that “many parents fear gender equality education would turn into classes advocating ‘sex liberation’ and homosexuality.”
The questions were apparently related to two referendums on gender equality education to be held on Saturday alongside the nine-in-one elections.
One proposes to ban education about homosexuality at elementary and junior-high school levels, as is required by the central government, while the other advocates introducing the rules into the Gender Equity Education Act (性別平等教育法) to better ensure they are enforced.
There are also three referendums on same-sex marriage.
Only 13 of the candidates answered its questionnaire, and while New Taipei City mayoral candidate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) did not do so, he did provide a list of his education platforms, the alliance said.
In the Taipei race, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) responded, as did the DPP’s Pasuya Yao (姚文智) and the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Ting Shou-chung (丁守中); in New Taipei City, the KMT’s Hou You-yi (侯友宜) also did.
In Taoyuan, Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) of the DPP did, as well as KMT challenger Apollo Chen (陳學聖) and independent Yang Li-huan (楊麗環), while Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) of the DPP and KMT rival Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) did so.
In Tainan, the DPP’s Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) and the KMT’s Kao Su-po (高思博) responded, as did their colleagues in Kaohsiung, the DPP’s Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) and the KMT’s Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜).
While Yao, Ko, Hou, Cheng and Lin support the current content of gender equality education, Ting, Apollo Chen, Yang, Kao and Han said the content needs to be age-appropriate, the alliance said.
Ting specifically opposed education on homosexuality at elementary and junior-high levels.
“Gender equality education should not be used to promote same-sex marriage at elementary and junior-high school levels. It should be teaching respect for different genders by gradually introducing to students different themes on gender equality based on their mental and physical development,” he told the alliance in response to its questionnaire.
Asked whether they would favor promoting ability grouping or mixed ability grouping in schools, most respondents supported ability grouping, with Ting, Ko, Hou, Yang, Cheng and Han saying they would develop high schools focused on specific disciplines, the alliance said.
Asked whether they support a policy to reduce stress by reducing tests and how they would ensure that students remain competitive, Yao, Su, Lin, Huang and Chen Chi-mai expressed support for a less stressful or happier learning experience, while Ting, Ko, Hou, Apollo Chen, Yang, Cheng, Kao and Han said they believed appropriate pressure would benefit students, it said.
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