Education chief says alternatives enhance diversity


Sun, Jun 20, 2004 - Page 2

Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝) said yesterday that experimental schools help diversify Taiwan's educational system.

Tu made the remarks while receiving four students from Holistic High School in Sanyi, Miaoli County, who returned on Friday from climbing Mount McKinley in Alaska.

In a symposium about educational reforms held at National Chengchi University in Taipei, Tu noted that he supports experimental schools in addition to regular schools, as they may spark creative ideas.

Experimental schools represent a stimulus to official education, Tu said. He urged education departments in counties and cities around the nation to open their policies to include these experimental schools and to supply them with more resources.

Tu cited his own example, saying that in 1990 he dedicated himself to the study of medical history, which was considered unusual and unpopular at the time, when he was a research fellow at the Institute of History and Philology at Academia Sinica. He said this step off the beaten track gave him many new ideas.

Huang Cheng-hsiung (黃政雄), president of Holistic High School, spoke about the four students who scaled Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America.

One of them, Chang Yuan-chih (張元植), is only 15 years old and might have been Taiwan's youngest mountaineer on high mountains, while Chen Yi-chih (陳奕至) is only 19 years old and was the group's only female climber.