Students to teach Mandarin
Students from National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) will have an unprecedented opportunity this summer to teach Mandarin Chinese at a US elementary school, the university’s Department of Applied Chinese Language and Literature said yesterday. The university’s students have taught at overseas Chinese language centers or schools, but this summer the students will teach for the first time at an all-American elementary school — Terra Verde Discovery School in Oklahoma — said professor Tsai Ya-hsun (蔡雅薰), the head of the department. The department was established in 2007 with a mission to cultivate professionals to teach Chinese as a second language abroad. Aside from its new partnership with the Oklahoma school, the university will also collaborate with an elementary school in San Diego that offers extensive Chinese language classes — Barnard Elementary School.
Fish fails health check
Taipei City Government’s health officials said yesterday that one of 10 seafood products recently selected for random checks contained banned drugs. Officials from the city’s Department of Health said that samples of John Dory, an expensive fish that is considered a gourmet item, were found to contain 0.002 ppm of ciprofloxacin and 0.01 ppm of enrofloxacin, which are veterinary drugs that are banned for use in fish in Taiwan. The fish has been ordered removed from store shelves. To protect consumers, the department checked seafood products at restaurants and various other outlets last month. The officials said that the suppliers of the tainted fish will be fined between NT$60,000 (US$2,003) and NT$6 million for violating the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法). Meanwhile, in a random check of fruit and vegetables on the market, the officials found that 13 out of 75 products had excessive pesticide content.
Ministry tackles drug abuse
The Ministry of Education launched an anti-drug campaign yesterday ahead of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, to promote a drug-free learning environment for children. The ministry selected Echinacea, commonly known as the purple coneflower, as the symbol of its initiative, which it dubbed the Echinacea Campaign. An official Web site was also launched, offering downloadable cards bearing images of the purple coneflower in nine different languages, including English, Japanese, French and Korean. Minister of Education Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧) urged the public to distribute the cards among families and friends abroad in a bid to globalize the campaign.
MND mulls fighter retrofit
Taiwan is reviewing a proposal submitted by the US for the retrofit of Taiwan’s F-16 A/B jet fighters, military officials said yesterday. The Ministry of National Defense (MND) is looking at the proposal to determine whether the listed military equipment and the prices are in line with Taiwan’s warfare needs, ministry spokesman Major General David Lo (羅紹和) said in a statement. Taiwan and the US will sign a deal on the retrofit package after the ministry completes its review, the air force said. Included in the fighters’ retrofit is the installation of Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, which costs US$600 million, officials said. Other items on the list include AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guidance kits.