Minister supports 12-year education
By Joy Lee, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- A 12-year compulsory education program is key to promoting competitiveness in children by teaching them a diverse range of skills, Education Minister Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧) said yesterday.
March 15, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
The Control Yuan's (監察院) Education and Culture Committee invited Chiang to report about the 12-year compulsory education program yesterday out of concern that the implemented program might be another education reform disaster.
“The Ministry of Education (MOE) promotes the 12-year compulsory education program because there is still room for Taiwan's competence to grow,” said Chiang.
“Children will be able to develop diverse skill sets within this 12-year compulsory education program,” Chiang said, “including learning the skills of communication, creativity, teamwork, and languages.”
Chiang also said that the main principle for examination-free admission is “no drawing.”
“The ministry will not allow random drawing to become the way to decide which school a student will be admitted to.”
According to Chiang, under the current education system, students who are good at examinations are usually seen as front-runners.
“The MOE wants to truly cultivate students' competitiveness,” Chiang said, “so it is important to stop making examinations lead in education.”
Meanwhile, Chien Lin Hui-jyun (錢林慧君), a member of the Control Yuan, said that the examination system would be fairer to students compared to the examination-free admission system.
Chiang responded that actually, students have suffered under the examination system, including award-winning director Ang Lee.
Chiang said that to be able to establish a good foundation for a 12-year compulsory education program, the MOE is working on improving the quality of senior high schools.
“There have been around 80 to 90 percent of senior high schools that reached the MOE's threshold for quality schools.”
There will be 15 regions for examination-free recruitment of senior high students around the island, including Keelung-Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu-Miaoli, Taichung-Nantou, Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Taitung, Hualien, Yilan, Kinmen and Penghu.
Response from Control Yuan Members
According to local reports, members of the Control Yuan were still concerned about the 12-year compulsory education program after hearing Chiang's report.
“The previous education reform has already ruined advanced education,” Lee Fu-dian (李復甸), “and now the 12-year compulsory education program might destroy the senior high school education.”
Lee suggested that the MOE should accept the criticism and opinions from the public regarding the ministry itself.
Another Control Yuan member, Louis Chao (趙榮耀), also said that if the MOE intended to promote the nation's competence through 12-year compulsory education program, the MOE should first make the program more complete.