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July 23, 2017

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High school enrollment results announced amid fierce protest

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday announced the national high school enrollment results, with many students reportedly unsatisfied with the schools they will be going to.

According to local reports, a great number of students in Taipei, New Taipei City and Keelung — long believed to be the most competitive regions in Taiwan — found the new examination enrollment system unreliable and faulty.

This is the first year the government has carried out a cross-nation examination for high school enrollment — part of the newly launched 12-year national education program — however, as the MOE granted every local city and county the right to adopt various methods of evaluating the students' performances, confusion and anxiety emerged among parents and students.

The junior high school students' test results will be divided into three levels of "A," "B," and "C." Level A stands for "excellence," B stands for "average" and C stands for "below average."

Parents and students voiced concerns prior the slot-filling process regarding the procedures to satisfy the students' selection of high schools and controversy about the requirement of writing a good essay in order to get into popular, A-list high schools.

Same Scores, Different Results

After seeing the results, some students were quoted as saying that they have entered the school of their dreams, while others with the same score were assigned to the fifth school on their list. One unlucky student filled in 19 schools he wished to attend and ended up with no school to enroll in.

A student, surnamed Fu, with allegedly medium-level scores, had filled in 19 slots but discovered yesterday that his scores did not enable him to enter any of the said schools. The student's mother announced that she would be protesting against the new system in the streets.

Two students who both scored A+ in all five subjects reported very different results, one being able to enroll in the school he chose first, the Affiliated High School of National Taiwan Normal University, while the other student was assigned to enroll in her third slot school. The father of the second student was furious over the results, complaining to local media that he has decided to have his daughter take the alternative "Academic Ability Test."

"It is outrageous that the students have to have points deducted from their scores because they filled out the wrong slots; it is because of this that many students with A+ in all subjects eventually have to go to the same school with those who have achieved lower scores," said the father.

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