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September 25, 2017

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MOE bans over-40s from staying at CYC centers and hostels

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of Education (MOE) recently announced an amendment to the facility lodging policy of all of the Youth Activity and Centers and Hostels that are owned and operated by the China Youth Corps (CYC).

The ministry in charge of all CYC accomodations was changed from the Ministry of the Interior to MOE's Youth Development Administration (YDA) earlier this year.

Recently the YDA released the Facilities Management and Security Maintenance Regulations for Youth Activity Centers and Hostels. The policy clearly stated that the operation of CYC facilities is on a non-profit basis.

The regulation listed 5 different groups of people who are eligible to seek accommodation at CYC hostels: 1. Students with proof of enrollment; 2. Working people under the age of 40; 3. Any people engaged in activities or programs that are organized by the government, schools or non-profits; 4. Staff and volunteers of the CYC; 5. Students or youths under the age of 40 with chaperones or relatives not exceeding four.

Specific definitions in the regulations state that only students in middle school or above with proof of enrollment are allowed to stay at CYC accommodations. Elementary students below the age of 12 are required to be chaperoned by a parent under the age of 40.

According to YDA director-general Lo Ching-shui (羅清水) article 24-3 of the Act for the Development of Tourism has listed that all CYC youth activity centers and hostels have as their purpose the provision of accommodation to designated individuals that participate in non-profit activities.

Any person over 40 traveling for personal reasons is not allowed to stay in CYC youth hostels unless they are part of events and activities organized by the MOE. The regulations must also be obeyed by all politicians and legislators, said Lo.

Amendment Criticized; CYC Asks for Leniency

Following the amendment, several elementary student parent groups have voiced criticism against the new policy, stating that the amendment is bad for education.

President of the Taipei Elementary Parent Union Advisory Councils Hu Hsiao-jen explained in a statement that, as a result of late marriages by modern people, most parents today are over 40 by the time their children attend elementary school. The amendment will strip parents of an opportunity to bond with their children in a relaxing atmosphere without having to pay too much for a vacation, which is to the detriment of their development, said Hu.

In light of the criticism, Teng Kuang-yen (鄧廣演) an official at the CYC's business unit stated that the CYC hopes that the YDA will be more lenient in enforcing the new policy's age restriction. Students are students, Teng said, and should be recognizable even without enrollment documents. Though the CYC should abide by the regulations of the MOE, it should also abide by the Senior Citizens Welfare Act, which dictates that no public or private institutions should deny service to senior citizens.

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