An after-school science club at a Taipei elementary school is using teaching materials in simplified Chinese that identifies Taiwan as a part of China, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Fan Yun (范雲) said yesterday, citing a parent’s complaint.
Fan showed reporters a copy of the materials, which describe its publisher, Lee Han, as having operated for more than two decades with a foothold in China’s Shanghai, Beijing and Wuhan markets.
It has the largest team of science teachers in the global Chinese community, and it has been covered in reports by China Central Television and the People’s Daily, the description said.
More than 2,000 schools from 50 cities in China, “including Hong Kong and Taiwan,” have adopted its science courses developed for students from kindergarten to the second year of junior-high school, while the company was included in the People’s Republic of China Yearbook, which said it had “the science course most suitable for our Chinese children’s education,” the promotional description said.
The materials were filled with “great unification” content, Fan said, calling them a “united front” tactic against the next generation.
The inclusion of Taiwan as a part of China is damaging to the nation’s sovereignty, she said.
The publisher is using science to give students an incorrect understanding of their own nation, while the use of simplified characters can confuse students, she said, calling on the Ministry of Education to investigate as soon as possible.
Wu Chih-jung (吳志榮), the person responsible for the Lee Han cultural and educational management consulting company, is a Yuan Ze University alumnus, and the company’s content was reportedly reviewed by the university’s Science Education Research Center, and included National Central Library publication catalogues, she said.
The company has denied ever using simplified characters in its materials in Taiwan, and accused the parent who complained of lying, as the materials they complained about had been purchased on a Chinese e-commerce platform, the lawmaker said.
The ministry’s K-12 Education Administration said that the company is responsible for after-school clubs at some elementary schools in Taipei and New Taipei City, and it has asked the education departments in those cities to investigate the accusation.
The Taipei Department of Education said the local school whose club used the materials had not found improprieties when it reviewed the company’s proposal, but it has asked the school to conduct a thorough investigation of the materials.
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