MOE deputy chief asked to step down over tuition system
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Deputy Minister of Education Chen I-hsing (陳益興) said yesterday that he was ordered to step down from his post, adding that “somebody has to take responsibility for the tuition-free education controversy” ahead of next year's implementation of the 12-year Basic Education System.
October 23, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
Chen was reportedly notified on Monday to hand in his resignation, and he responded to reporters that he must comply out of administrative ethics.
Regarding the notification, Chen said that he has “no complaints but only gratitude in (his) heart.”
Chen was reportedly saddened that he will not be able to see the implementation of the new system, for which he served as a mastermind of sorts. Chen has been described by local media as the “chief executive officer” of the reform.
When asked what his plans are for the future, Chen, who was brought up on a farm, said that he might return to the countryside, and that “holding a pen is as important as holding a hoe.”
Chen said that he was shocked by the news, but that he has no choice but to comply.
When Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧) became education minister, his biggest challenge was the 12-year Basic Education System, the planning for which Chen had participated in during ex-Education Minister Tu Cheng-sheng's (杜正勝) term.
Chen was reportedly promoted to deputy minister because Chiang trusted him and relied on his experience.
The tuition-free education controversy to which Chen referred was the Education Ministry's decision to exclude children from families that earn more than NT$1.48 million a year from not paying school fees. However, Chiang had previously promised at the Legislature that all children would be included in the program. During the heat of the debate, Chen was on a trip in Europe, and he was singled out as being responsible for the policy change.
When he arrived back in Taiwan, one of his first comments, in response to reporters' questions, was “perhaps I should work all year-round (instead).”