Ex-lawmaker recalls past guideline changes
Former Legislator Joanna Lei ( ) stressed yesterday that the Legislative Yuan can play an appropriate role in the controversial curriculum guidelines saga, but it is not necessary because the changes are legitimate.
Curriculum guidelines are constantly being altered depending on which political party is in charge at the moment, claimed Lei. She considers the changes brought about by the current guidelines legal and minor when compared to the changes made during former President Chen Shui- bian’s term.
However, since the Ministry of Education ( MOE) is no longer capable of solving the dispute, it is suitable for the Legislative Yuan to get involved as it is recognized by the public as a constitutional governing authority, said Lei.
She further mentioned that according to formal procedure, when an extraordinary meeting is called by the Legislative Yuan, educational committees direct the meeting and discussions with legislators from distinct parties take place. There is no need for the minster to be present, she said.
during President Chen’s administration, former Education Minister Tu Cheng- sheng ( ) implemented the 2006 curriculum textbook guideline revisions that were supposed to be implemented in 2009 after a pilot implementation. According to Lei, the subject matter, definitions and teaching hours for Taiwanese, Chinese and foreign history were vastly altered, which literally turned into the strategy of using education to promote political doctrine. It is also why she raised the case and asked the MOE to report to the Legislative Yuan because the public had no way to stop the changes.
At the time, when Lei and other legislators countersigned a petition to postpone the temporary curriculum guidelines or send it to the Legislative Yuan for assessment, Educa- tion Vice Minister Chou Tsan Der ( ) apologized but refused to follow the petition with the reason that the nineyear curriculum could not be postponed any longer; Another reason that Lei claimed was given was that the changes to the curriculum guidelines were in accordance with the administration’s principles at the time, and therefore they were legitimate.