Action Coalition of Civics Teachers spokesman Huang I-chung (黃益中) said the Ministry of Education’s changes to high-school curriculum guidelines allowed it to sneak in the desiccated corpse of party-state education of bygone days.
The dogma of the past might be making a comeback in some parts of new high-school civic education textbooks after its removal nine years ago, Huang said.
Changes in 2012 required textbooks to “define the concept of national identification and describe how Taiwanese hold different views on the issue of national identification in accordance with the Constitution,” which allowed textbooks to be more in tune with contemporary matters, Huang said, adding that there were differing ideas on national identification due to internal politico-historical factors and the China factor.
Photo: provided by Huang I-chung
Textbooks introduced the idea that there are many facets of national identification, Huang said, adding that organizations often used identification and political stance as ways to gauge ideas of national identity.
However, the changes that went into effect last month demanded that textbooks follow “the spirit and guidelines behind the founding of the nation as represented in the Constitution,” Huang said.
Such demands will inevitably return textbooks to decades past, when everything was tied into the “three principles of the people,” he said.
“The three principles of the people forms the basis of the Republic of China to be a democratic republic of the people, by the people and for the people,” Huang said, quoting the first article of the Constitution.
Huang said some textbooks have already done so and removed materials that portray “divided views on national identity.”
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) said the nation was not truly relieved of party-state-dictated education until the implementation of the curriculum on Sept. 5, 2006.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) established courses specifically teaching the three principles of the people in high schools and vocational high schools since its relocation to Taiwan in 1949, Cheng said.
The implementation and exclusion of the three principles from textbooks is a symbolic representation of Taiwanese fighting for the “democratization of history,” Cheng said, adding that the return of the three principles meant a return of party-state meddling in education.
This is the primary reason the changes must be abolished, Cheng said.
Humanist Education Foundation executive director Joanna Feng (馮喬蘭) said the ministry was “raping Taiwanese education with outmoded autocratic curriculum material,” adding that weak efforts by the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to “brainwash” students would only be met with disgust from young people.
Taichung official Yen Ching-hsiang (顏慶祥) said the new curriculum was anti-democratic in terms of its treatment of national identification.
It is a regression of education that flew completely in the face of social development and public will, the Bureau of Education director said.
National Academy of Educational Research secretary-general Wu Hsiao-hsia (武曉霞) said that while there were changes to portions outlining national identification, the running consensus of the review committee was that new textbooks should portray the founding spirit of the Constitution, adding however that publishers’ ways to describe that would be respected.
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of