The Bureau of Health Promotion apologized yesterday over its categorization of parents’ jobs in a recent survey of the oral health of elementary-school students.
Bureau Deputy Director-General Kung Hsien-lan (孔憲蘭) said the grouping of jobs on the questionnaire was “inappropriate” and she apologized for any negative fallout.
She said the bureau has recalled the questionnaires and would be more circumspect in the future.
Kung offered the apology during a question-and-answer session at the legislature after Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國) questioned the design of the questionnaire and accused the bureau of discrimination.
At issue was a six-page survey that Kung said was designed by academics.
It listed parents’ jobs in six categories — highly professional, professional, semi-professional, technical, non-technical and others.
The questionnaire listed the work of legislators, scientists, doctors and top managers as highly professional, while lawyers, accountants and journalists were grouped as professional.
The work of technicians, city councilors, firefighters, secretaries and TV entertainers was categorized as semi-professional.
People working as drivers, mailmen, in sales, farmers and as hair stylists were listed as having technical jobs, while apprentices, fishermen, housewives, farmers, vendors and dance hostesses were grouped under non-technical positions.
The questionnaire also had a section on the total income of the students’ household, with the lowest category being NT$59,999 per month.