New text­book guide­lines to be launched de­spite crit­i­cism

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY SUN HSIN-HSUAN

The new cur­ricu­lum guide­lines for text­books are to be im­ple­mented in Au­gust as was pre­vi­ously planned, Deputy Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion Chen Der-hwa ( ) said yes­ter­day, amid in­tense de­bate over whether the pro­ce­dures for drawing up the guide­lines was le­git­i­mate and whether the new con­tent is in line with his­tor­i­cal facts.

An­nounced in Jan­uary, just be­fore lu­nar New Year va­ca­tion, the new cur­ricu­lum guide­lines have since drawn crit­i­cism from the public, politi­cians, teach­ers and even stu­dents. The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion (MOE) said that they were mak­ing “mi­nor ad­just­ments” to the pre­vi­ous cur­ricu­lum, but op­po­nents, in­clud­ing the Civics Teach­ers Ac­tion Al­liance ( ), say the changes amount to large-scale re­vi­sions.

The Al­liance ar­gues that the new text­books claim Tai­wan is part of China in­stead of an in­de­pen­dent coun­try, and that ma­jor anti- gov­ern­ment up­ris­ings that were vig­or­ously sup­pressed by the Kuom­intang (KMT) were ei­ther omit­ted from the text­books or un­der­em­pha­sized, in­clud­ing the 228 in­ci­dent, 318 in­ci­dent and the White Ter­ror.

Fur­ther­more, op­po­nents claim that the MOE un­der­went the re­vi­sion protest in se­cret, as the new guide­lines were drawn up in mat­ter of weeks, which they claim was ex­tremely ir­reg­u­lar. They also claim that the par­tic­i­pants on the com­mit­tee, as well as min­utes of meet­ings and records of votes, were kept con­fi­den­tial.

The Tai­wan As­so­ci­a­tion for Hu­man Rights ( ) sued the MOE for vi­o­la­tions of the Open­ness of Gov­ern­ment In­for­ma­tion Act, with the Supreme Court rul­ing in their fa­vor in the ear­lier half of 2015. The court or­dered the min­istry to re­lease de­tails of the meet­ings to the public. Wu, how­ever, said later that the MOE would file an ap­peal and main­tained that the de­ci­sion of the court would not af­fect the launch of the new guide­lines.

On June 9, a sem­i­nar was held at Na­tional Taichung First Se­nior High School, which was the first of the four meet­ings planned for stu­dents to com­mu­ni­cate with the min­istry over the new guide­lines on cam­puses.

Hun­dreds of Stu­dents Ally

Against New Guide­line

Stu­dents and teach­ers gath­ered to protest and ask ques­tions of Wu dur­ing the meet­ing on June 9. Stu­dents from more than 221 schools joined to­gether in op­po­si­tion to the new guide­lines. They de­manded that the MOE halt all cur­rent moves and re­think the con­tent.

Wu main­tained that all pro­ce­dures in es­tab­lish­ing the new guide­lines were com­pletely legal and that the changes made to the con­tent are just “an ac­cu­rate re­count­ing of the his­tory of Tai­wan.” He said that most quotes pro­test­ers cited from the new guide­lines were in fact not in­cluded in the ma­te­rial.

Leg­is­la­tor Ac­cuses Ac­tivists of Steer­ing Stu­dent Move­ments

KMT Leg­is­la­tor Chen Shu-hui (

) said yes­ter­day that Tai­wan’s pro-in­de­pen­dence ac­tivists are ma­nip­u­lat­ing stu­dents with vague and in­cor­rect in­for­ma­tion, driv­ing chaos at schools.

Cross-strait re­la­tion­ships were re­ferred to as “Tai­wan” and “China” in the old text­books. How­ever, the new guide­lines now ad­just “Tai­wan” to “the na­tion,” and “China” to “main­land China.” Leg­is­la­tor Chen said that there is noth­ing claim­ing Tai­wan to be an in­de­pen­dent coun­try, but that “this ex­actly how the Con­sti­tu­tion refers to the two coun­tries.”

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