Ko says rates of school pick­ups show weak­ness

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wenje ( ) said yesterday that the high per­cent­age of par­ents pick­ing up and drop­ping off their chil­dren at school in­di­cates dwin­dling child in­de­pen­dence and called it a “na­tional weak­ness.”

At a meet­ing hosted by the Ed­u­ca­tion ( ) and Trans­porta­tion ( ) min­istries, Ko par­tic­i­pated in a dis­cus­sion about main­tain­ing the safety of stu­dents com­mut­ing be­tween home and school.

Sta­tis­tics showed that 48.9 per­cent and 23.15 per­cent of ele­men­tary and mid­dle school stu­dents, re­spec­tively, were ac­com­pa­nied to school by their par­ents. Other forms of com­mute in­cluded walk­ing, bik­ing and tak­ing public trans­port.

Ac­cord­ing to Ko, 48.9 per­cent was too high for ele­men­tary school stu­dents. He said that the per­cent­age in­di­cated the de­clin­ing in­de­pen­dence of chil­dren and ques­tioned whether this could be a mat­ter of public safety or un­safe traf­fic.

Ko added that the mid­dle school stu­dent rate was more un­der­stand­able as stu­dents of the age group tend to live fur­ther from their schools. Ele­men­tary school stu­dents, how­ever, usu­ally live within walk­ing dis­tance from school and there­fore should not need to be ac­com­pa­nied by their par­ents, Ko said.

The mayor said that by look­ing at the sta­tis­tics, he could see that Tai­wanese peo­ple have lost the abil­ity to be in­de­pen­dent.

Ac­cord­ing to Ko, the fact that his wife Chen Pei- chi (

) also took their chil­dren to school in the past al­ways con­fused him. He said that now his chil­dren have grown up, it would be con­sid­ered shame­ful to still drop them off and pick them up from school.

Ko said that he wants to set a new in­di­ca­tor called the KPI, which is the rate of par­ents who pick up and drop off their child at school.

Too many schools with a high KPI would in­di­cate that prin­ci­pals are mak­ing Tai­wanese be­come too de­pen­dent, ac­cord­ing to Ko.

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