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Schools should not list gaming as required course: MOE

TAIPEI -- The education minister said yesterday that schools should not include gaming operations-related courses in their required core courses, although the Education Ministry respects the right of universities to independently arrange their general education programs.

Minister of Education Chiang Wei-ling made his stance clear as anti-gambling advocates rallied in front of the ministry to protest the launch of gaming operations and management courses by some schools, saying that this could “turn the halls of knowledge into casinos.”

The event organizer also unveiled a list of universities offering gaming related classes, one of which has abolished one of its required courses — “History and Citizenship” — replacing it with “Gambling and Number Games,” a move considered to be forcing students to learn how to gamble.

In response, Chiang said that his ministry does not consider gambling-related courses to be suitable for inclusion in required courses, adding that he will investigate the issue further and coordinate with the schools in question to properly handle the matter.

Chiang said that if schools want to open gambling classes, they should be included in elective courses and he added that the ministry will review schools' course arrangements through their performance evaluations.

On Jan. 2, the Legislature's Transportation Committee approved 31 articles of the Tourist Casino Management Act draft bill, including regulations for licensing and measures restricting casinos to Taiwan's outlying islands, although 83 of the 114 articles in the bill failed to pass.

Currently, gaming operations-related courses offered in Taiwan's universities are incorporated into tourism, business management and mathematics classes to equip students with diversified skills to get jobs in the tourism sector at home or abroad, an education official said.

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