The Ministry of National Defense must offer measures to meet the quota for military personnel for a full-volunteer military force planned for next year while taking falling birth rates into consideration, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators said at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee on Wednesday.
DPP Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) said the Republic of China (ROC) Military Academy had drawn 6,311, 7,175 and 5,802 recruits in 2014, last year and this year respectively.
Ministry Deputy Chief of General Staff for Personnel Lieutenant General Hsu Yen-pu (徐衍璞) said the ROC Military Academy was 210 students short this year.
However, Hsu said that there were still 300 students who were qualified for the academy, but have not yet enrolled at the academy, as their scores were good enough to be accepted to other higher-education providers.
The ministry would be asking them what their intentions are and striving to “recruit as many people as possible,” Hsu said.
The committee passed a first reading of a draft amendment on select parts of the Act of Military Education (軍事教育條例), which says that the ministry should cooperate with select vocational schools and junior colleges, with the latter agreeing to provide military courses so that military personnel would be able to seek higher honors.
The courses would be exempt from restrictions on student numbers and recruitment methods stipulated in the University Act (大學法) and Junior College Act (專科學校法) if the amendments are passed, Hsu said, adding that in the future the ministry would also set up associate degrees, bachelor degrees and master degrees in military areas.
The ministry announced that it was looking to work with a total of 16 facilities.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said that most of them were private institutions.
The ministry should look into whether any of the education providers are scheduled by the Ministry of Education for closure to avoid embarrassment and hurting incentives, Chiang said.
The defense ministry said it would take Chiang’s suggestion into consideration.
Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Lu Sun-ling (呂孫綾) questioned the defense ministry’s inclusion of certificates on aromatics and scents, as well as funeral service certificates, in a list of 20 courses.
Deputy Minister of National Defense Lee Hsi-ming (李喜明) said that the courses were designed to be diverse and inclusive to better provide a fall-back expertise for retired soldiers.
While the antiparasitic drug ivermectin is being touted as a treatment for COVID-19 in many parts of the world, Taiwanese experts on Monday warned against regular use of the drug in COVID-19 treatment, citing a lack of solid evidence. “Following an experts’ meeting, we do not recommend regular use of ivermectin in treating COVID-19 due to the lack of enough evidence,” said Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳), convener of the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) expert advisory panel. A report in the American Journal of Therapeutics said that meta-analyses based on 18 randomized controlled treatment trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 patients had found large,
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