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MOE clarifies its standpoint on 12-year education system

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Administrative Deputy Minister Lin Shu-chen (林淑真) of the Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday responded to press questions regarding the unclear deliberation of the new 12-year compulsory education system discussion.

  The discussion was held on Sunday between Education Minister Wu Se-hwa (吳思樺), Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), with the intentions of establishing a solid program for the 12-year education plan.

As the conclusive decision of the discussion was reported differently by news outlets nationwide, Lin spoke to local media in hopes of clarifying the MOE's standpoint.

Lin stated that the basic execution principle of the MOE remains “legally abiding,” and will continue to conduct enrollment in accordance to the current Senior High School Education Act (高級中等教育法), by accepting exam-free applications before conducting examinations for specialty schools.

However, Lin also responded to questions regarding the legal aspects of Taipei City's new proposal in conducting the program in question in reverse, where examinations for specialty schools will predate exam-free applications, stating that it is legal for Taipei to have the final decision in conducting their policy.

MOE to Release Definite Statement Soon

Along with different reports and answers on the new 12-year compulsory education system, relative responses from authorities have also been ambiguous.

During her phone interview with local reporters, Lin was questioned on whether if the ambiguity could be interpreted differently according to different local government and different government agencies. Reporters went on to ask Lin whether if such unclear responses could bring potential chaos with victims being the Taiwanese students and parents.

In response, Lin said that the MOE retains its law abiding stance, but also acknowledges the authority of local governments. As such, and for the sake of clarity, the MOE will conduct further internal discussions, with a final and firm policy that will be presented to the general public and to local governments as well.

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