Taipei-Keelung area ed­u­ca­tion plan to be scrapped

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

Taipei City’s Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion yesterday an­nounced that a joint draft plan cre­ated for Taipei, New Taipei and Keelung slated for use for the 2016 school year would not be im­ple­mented. An al­ter­na­tive strongly pushed by many Taipei dis­trict par­ents may be put in place, with that plan call­ing for next year’s en­roll­ment to be de­ter­mined us­ing mea­sures that have his­tor­i­cally been pro­vided by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion (MOE).

A lack of con­sen­sus among the three North­ern Tai­wan re­gions was cited for the rea­son that the plan, called the “216 Plan,” was ul­ti­mately re­jected. Last year, rules were put into place that would ad­mit stu­dents if school en­roll­ment quo­tas were not able to ac­com­mo­date all ap­pli­cants. The com­pli­cated rank­ing scheme for in­com­ing high school stu­dents is based upon a se­ries of per­for­mance scores for each stu­dent in var­i­ous fields and lev­els earned on the Com­pre­hen­sive As­sess­ment Pro­gram (CAP).

Pre­vi­ously, the ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ments of Taipei, New Taipei and Keelung had planned to im­ple­ment the “216 Plan,” which would put greater weight on the CAP scores in the rank­ing process. Although it was de­fended by the three gov­ern­ments at the time for main­tain­ing lo­cal au­ton­omy and fair­ness in al­lo­cat­ing stu­dents, its crit­ics say that the “three-tiers, four-sym­bols” de­lin­eation sys­tem — which grades stu­dents by A, B, C, and then in­cre­ments in be­tween — wa­ters down the pre­ci­sion of the rank­ing method and dis­ad­van­tages stu­dents who are not from elite school­ing back­grounds. Par­ents against the plan ral­lied out­side the Taipei City Gov­ern­ment yesterday de­mand­ing that mea­sures be con­firmed.

Depart­ment of ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials in Taipei City in­di­cated that a meet­ing be­tween may­ors Ko Wen-je ( ) and Eric Chu (

) ear­lier in the week cre­ated an agree­ment un­der which con­di­tions for this year’s pub­li­ca­tion of examinees on July 3 will be noted and con­sid­ered for the next school year. Both may­ors con­cluded that if res­i­dents find the sys­tem suit- able, it will be used next year. Should it be deemed un­sat­is­fac­tory, changes will be im­ple­mented.

While the MOE had agreed to pro­vide sta­tis­ti­cal in­for­ma­tion for Taipei for its rank­ings meth­ods up to this year, there are cur­rently no plans in place for it to con­tinue pro­vid­ing sta­tis­tics be­yond 2015. MOE of­fi­cials had deemed this the task of lo­cal ed­u­ca­tion agen­cies. It had also en­cour­aged lo­cal city and county gov­ern­ments to con­duct spe­cial ex­ams in or­der to bet­ter gauge and cat­e­go­rize gifted stu­dents. It is un­clear whether the MOE will ac­cede to de­mands to pro­vide data that would al­low a mea­sur­ing me­ter to be con­structed.

The Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mis­sioner Tang Chih-min (

) said that if par­ents find this year’s pol­icy to be sound, it will work to ob­tain the mea­sur­ing me­ters from the MOE.

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