The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday proposed mandating paid childcare leave to help people take care of their families as the government announced an extension of a nationwide COVID-19 level 3 alert.
The Central Epidemic Command Center on Thursday announced that the level 3 alert would be extended to July 26, but that regulations would be eased for some activities and venues, including restaurants, cinemas, museums and exhibition halls.
Given Taiwan’s low vaccination coverage, the government must be more cautious and issue clearer guidelines on the relaxation of disease prevention measures to prevent community spread, NPP Chairwoman Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) told an online news conference.
Many companies have asked their workers to go back to work as the local outbreak eased, and this trend would only increase with the relaxation of COVID-19 curbs next week, NPP spokesman Chang Wei-hang said.
However, as schools remain closed, parents are faced with the problem of who would take care of their children when they return to work, Chang said.
Keeping schools and childcare centers closed while movie theaters and other entertainment venues reopen is confusing and illogical, he said.
The government must find a way to safely reopen childcare centers and schools, or give workers paid “disease prevention childcare leave” and subsidies until the outbreak is under control, he said.
“Parents should not be forced to choose between taking care of their children while going without pay or exposing them to risks of community spread,” he said.
The NPP also proposed creating a standard system that proves a person has been vaccinated or has tested negative for COVID-19.
Such proof is required for people taking part in indoor events with more than 5,000 attendees in the US or dining in a restaurant in Germany, while France uses a QR-code-based health passport, NPP think tank executive director Lee Chao-li (李兆立) said.
Taiwan should consider issuing similar health certificates or digital proof, which must be standardized to avoid counterfeiting and facilitate verification, he added.
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Ninth graders were asked to define “trolling” on this year’s standardized exam, reflecting efforts to make the test better reflect real-life situations. Adjustments to this year’s Comprehensive Assessment Program for Junior High School Students were revealed on Sunday, after the last cohort of students completed the test over the weekend. The Ministry of Education solicited feedback about the test from teachers, who approved of the new question in the English portion. Not only was question No. 20 “very much in line with real-life situations,” but it also used a new style in which students were asked to ascertain the correct dictionary definition based
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Three human skeletons and artifacts believed to be about 400 years old were unearthed by construction workers at National Ilan University in Yilan County, the university said yesterday. The discoveries were made on May 10 as workers were digging to expand the College of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science’s facilities, the university said in a statement. The skeletons were found at three sites, along with glass beads, copper bells and rings, discs and a fish-shaped metal knot, it said. The find is likely connected to the “Old Baili Village” (擺厘舊社, Bai Li Jiu She), an as-yet-undiscovered Kavalan settlement that has been mentioned in