Cur­ricu­lum talks fail to reach con­sen­sus

Law­mak­ers to meet to dis­cuss pos­si­ble ex­tra leg­isla­tive ses­sion


Stu­dent de­mon­stra­tors are to hold a press con­fer­ence to­day at 10 a. m. to ad­dress their next step in the anti- cur­ricu­lum cam­paign, af­ter talks with Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Wu Se- hwa (

) failed again yesterday. Stu­dents sat down with Wu at the Na­tional Cen­tral Li­brary, but the talks again failed to reach a con­sen­sus, with the min­is­ter agree­ing to only one of the stu­dents’ de­mands.

Chu Chen ( ) , Chen Chienhsun ( ) , and Hsiao Chuchun ( ) , the three stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tives in at­ten­dance at the talks, which were broad­cast live on the In­ter­net, bowed and apol­o­gized to fel­low de­mon­stra­tors for the failed ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion ( MOE) upon re­turn­ing to the MOE’s front court­yard.

Wu’s sole prom­ise was to at­tempt to ob­tain ap­proval to re­lease the names of the mem­bers of the high school cur­ricu­lum re­view com­mit­tee, but he did not ad­dress or agree to the other two de­mands made by the rep­re­sen­ta­tives, which were to with­draw or de­lay the con­tro­ver­sial new cur­ricu­lum and for Wu to stand down as ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter.

Un­less the cur­ricu­lum pro­ce­dures are proven illegal or un­suit­able, the MOE will not cease im­ple­men­ta­tion of the cur­ricu­lum guide­lines, Wu stated.

The con­tentious guide­lines have been in ef­fect since Aug. 1.

Stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tives also ac­cused Wu of be­ing ir­re­spon­si­ble, as the min­is­ter con­tin­u­ally said dur­ing the meet­ing that the ap­proval of the con­tro­ver­sial cur­ricu­lum did not hap­pen dur­ing his term of of­fice.

The stu­dents said that they be­lieve Wu has the au­thor­ity to de­lay the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the cur­ricu­lum.

Some of the stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tives left the talks be­fore they of­fi­cially con­cluded, say­ing that they were dis­mayed at how the min­is­ter was fail­ing to ad­dress their de­mands and claimed that he was say­ing the same things as he had two months ago. Chu broke down and cried in the meet­ing room close to the end of the talks.

“We are will­ing to ac­cept a de­lay of the ( im­ple­men­ta­tion of the) cur­ricu­lum,” Chu said. He also said that many of the an­ti­c­ur­ricu­lum de­mon­stra­tors have been talk­ing about “do­ing the same thing as [ Lin] Kuan- hua.” Lin Kuan- hua died in an ap­par­ent sui­cide on July 30.

“We have waited two months for this meet­ing,” said Liao Chung- lun ( ), a stu­dent speaker who at­tended the meet­ing as well. “We left the meet­ing early be­cause the min­is­ter didn’t re­spond to our de­mands and re­peated the same words as in May and June. What is the use in protest­ing, and sac­ri­fic­ing a life if this is the case?”

Le­gal or Not

Re­tired Na­tional Tai­wan Univer­sity pro­fes­sor Wu Mi- cha (

) , one three teach­ers who at­tended the talks, called for a com­plete re­run of the cur­ricu­lum re­view process, say­ing “there are still many con­tro­ver­sial ma­te­ri­als yet to be ad­dressed.”

How­ever, Wu re­sponded by say­ing “this cur­ricu­lum was pub­lished in Fe­bru­ary 2014. If I de­cided to an­nounce that the cur­ricu­lum would be with­drawn, would we be fol­low­ing the reg­u­la­tions prop­erly? If we use this kind of talk to re­ject a plan that is al­ready in ef­fect, does this make it a black box as well?”

In re­sponse to ques­tions on whether the cur­ricu­lum re­form and re­view process was le­gal, Wu re­it­er­ated that the Con­trol Yuan had deemed the process le­gal and that pros­e­cu­tors con­cluded a case sim­i­larly in April, sup­port­ing the Con­trol Yuan’s judge­ment.


(Top) Anti-cur­ricu­lum cam­paign lead­ers talk with Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Wu Se-hwa ( ), right, at the Na­tional Cen­tral Li­brary yesterday. Wu said that ne­go­ti­a­tions on with­draw­ing the con­tro­ver­sial new cur­ricu­lum guide­lines can be­gin only if the guide­lines are found to be illegal, since the cur­ricu­lum re­forms were an­nounced last Fe­bru­ary and have al­ready gone through the nec­es­sary pro­ce­dures. (Right) Stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tives weep yesterday af­ter their meet­ing with the ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter. The two sides failed to reach a con­sen­sus at the meet­ing.


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