Cur­ricu­lum de­bate may see ex­tra leg­isla­tive hear­ing

Talks be­tween MOE head & protesters break down, guide­lines to take ef­fect to­day

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEPHANIE CHAO

Leg­isla­tive Speaker Wang Jin­pyng ( ) an­nounced yesterday that a meet­ing may be held to dis­cuss an ex­tra leg­isla­tive ses­sion to de­bate the con­tro­ver­sial high school cur­ricu­lum guide­lines, af­ter talks be­tween Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Wu Se-hwa ( ) and stu­dent protesters fell through.

Wang said he hopes to see a de­layed im­ple­men­ta­tion of the cur­ricu­lum to al­low for dis­cus­sion with ex­ec­u­tive branch of­fi­cials. He said that his pro­posed meet­ing be­tween party cau­cuses to dis­cuss an ex­tra­or­di­nary ses­sion of the Leg­is­la­ture to de­bate the con­tro­ver­sial changes to the high school cur­ricu­lum has been ten­ta­tively sched­uled for Aug. 4.

The cur­ricu­lum is set to go into ef­fect to­day, a move ap­proved by Taipei High Ad­min­is­tra­tive Court.

The talks led by Wang were spurred on by the de­mands made by the protesters for an ex­tra leg­isla­tive ses­sion to dis­cuss a de­layed im­plan­ta­tion of the cur­ricu­lum.

The Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) cau­cus voted to sup­port call­ing on the speaker to hold the ex­tra leg­isla­tive de­bate, while the Kuom­intang (KMT) has stated it plans to hold a party meet­ing to dis­cuss hold­ing an ex­tra leg­isla­tive ses­sions Aug. 3. Tai­wan Sol­i­dar­ity Union (TSU,

) cau­cus whip Lai Zhen- chang ( ) said that Min­is­ter Wu ex­pressed con­cerns about the dis­cus­sions, say­ing that de­lay­ing the cur­ricu­lum would re­sult in stu­dents un­able to get their text­books, which were al­ready printed, be­cause the guide­lines were an­nounced last Fe­bru­ary.

Wu and stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tives briefly ex­changed words on the steps of the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion (MOE) build­ing prior to a prene­go­ti­a­tion meet­ing led by Wang, yesterday. But the talks quickly fell apart af­ter he told stu­dents to “sit down and ra­tio­nally” dis­cuss the cur­ricu­lum and talked about his “po­lit­i­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity,” which an­gered the protesters, who were an­gered that Wu had not met their de­mands, namely that the cur­ricu­lum be with­drawn and the min­is­ter step down.

Af­ter the failed meet­ing, Wu re­turned in­side the MOE build­ing. Wu had not made any ad­di­tional

com­ment as of press time.

Demon­stra­tions at MOE

Fol­low­ing news of high school cur­ricu­lum ac­tivist and stu­dent Lin Kuan-hua’s ( ) ap­par­ent sui­cide, protests es­ca­lated to the point where ac­tivists broke through fences set up in front of the MOE and oc­cu­pied its front steps yesterday morn­ing, where they are still peace­fully de­mon- strat­ing un­der the su­per­vi­sion of the po­lice as of press time.

While both the Pres­i­den­tial Of­fice and the Cab­i­net have said they stand by Wu, Cab­i­net spokesman Sun Lih-chyun (

) re­it­er­ated that the “old and new cur­ricu­lums” are to be used, and that ex­ams should not cover the con­tro­ver­sial ma­te­rial.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je

(

) promised not to “use ex­ces­sive po­lice force,” and as long as the “stu­dents re­main peace­ful and calm, the po­lice will not drive them away,” dur­ing his brief visit to the MOE build­ing.

Prior to the demon­stra­tions in the MOE’s front court­yard, protesters briefly ral­lied in front of the Leg­isla­tive Yuan af­ter scal­ing its fences on July 30.

CNA

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Wu Se-hwa ( ) lis­tens to a pro­tester yesterday on the steps of the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion (MOE). Anti-cur­ricu­lum protesters have been oc­cu­py­ing the front court­yard of the MOE since yesterday. Protests con­tin­ued yesterday af­ter a brief talk with the min­is­ter fell apart af­ter Wu asked for ra­tio­nal dis­cus­sion with the ac­tivists.

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