Protest­ing stu­dents vow to stay de­spite typhoon

Re­view of so­cial stud­ies to be post­phoned: deputy min­is­ter


Deputy Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Lin Teng-chiao ( ) an­nounced yesterday that the gov­ern­ment had pre­pared mem­bers for a cur­ricu­lum su­per­vi­sory panel while invit­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion from stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Stu­dents protest­ing in front of the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion (MOE) vowed to con­tinue their oc­cu­pa­tion of the en­trance to the com­pound, de­spite the im­mi­nent ap­proach of Typhoon Soude­lor.

Speak­ing of the newly formed panel, Lin said that stu­dents would be able to par­tic­i­pate in meet­ings and have vot­ing rights, but said that the num­ber of rep­re­sen­ta­tives al­lo­cated would be lim­ited due to the num­ber of pan­elists re­served for non-ed­u­ca­tors. The stu­dents will also have the power to nom­i­nate ex­perts to be a part of the panel. The first meet­ing is sched­uled to be held in late Au­gust.

Mean­while, Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Wu Se-hua ( ) an­nounced that the so­cial stud­ies por­tion of the 12-year com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion ba­sic cur­ricu­lum guide­lines would be tem­po­rar­ily post­poned. Wu an­nounced the de­ci­sion dur­ing a dis­cus­sion with stu­dents in Taichung, say­ing that the gov­ern­ment would seek to open a dialog to avoid so­cial con­fronta­tion ahead of the cur­ricu­lum’s sched­uled im­ple­men­ta­tion in 2018.

Pres­sure mount­ing on the stu­dents to con­clude their demon­stra­tion is not only due to both rul­ing and op­po­si­tion par­ties agree­ing to com­pro­mise on hold­ing an ex­tra leg­isla­tive ses­sion to ad­dress the is­sue, but the im­pend­ing ar­rival of Typhoon Soude­lor, which may make land­fall in North­ern Tai­wan to­ward the end of the week. The MOE’s de­ci­sion to al­low both cur­rent and pre-2015 cur­ricu­lum guide­lines to be made avail­able for text­book pub­lish­ers is also seen as a com­pro­mise on the is­sue, giv­ing schools the ul­ti­mate de­ci­sion on which text­books they will even­tu­ally use.

Stu­dents, who have vowed to re­main in front of the MOE en­trance de­spite the im­pend­ing wind and rain, are dis­sat­is­fied with law­mak­ers from both the Kuom­intang (KMT) and Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) due to a lack of de­tails re­gard­ing how the re­view and mon­i­tor­ing pro­ce­dure will take place. They re­it­er­ated their stance that the new guide­lines be re­tracted and Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Wu apolo- gize and step down for the in­ci­dent, threat­en­ing also to move protests to KMT head­quar­ters or the Leg­isla­tive Yuan if they saw fit. Some stu­dents said they would al­ter­nate shifts to main­tain­ing their oc­cu­pa­tion of the min­istry’s en­trance.

Any in­di­ca­tions of a res­o­lu­tion to the protests were not im­me­di­ately ev­i­dent as po­lice in­creased their se­cu­rity pres­ence around the MOE to 400 of­fi­cers, as anti-protest de­mon­stra­tors led by China Uni­fi­ca­tion Pro­mo­tion Party leader Chang An-lo ( ), also known as the “White Wolf” led sup­port­ers to­ward the camped out stu­dents. DPP Taipei City Coun­cilor Wang Shih-chien (

) ap­peared to sup­port stu­dents and shouted “over my dead body” to­ward Chang, who planned to “con­vince” protesters to go home.

Ear­lier in the day, Chang lead party mem­bers, decked out in Im­pe­rial Ja­panese Army uni­forms, to DPP head­quar­ters to protest “the poi­son­ing of youth through ed­u­ca­tion” by “charm­ing up” Ja­pan’s role in Tai­wan’s history.


Stu­dent protesters dis­cuss among them­selves at the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion in Taipei, yesterday. They vowed to re­in­force their po­si­tions ahead of the im­pend­ing ar­rival of Typhoon Soude­lor, which will af­fect Tai­wan start­ing Fri­day. Stu­dents re­it­er­ated their stance of stay­ing put un­til the cur­ricu­lum guide­lines have been with­drawn and the min­is­ter of ed­u­ca­tion has apol­o­gized and re­signed.

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