Cur­ricu­lum coun­cil re­jects ros­ter pub­li­ca­tion

The China Post - - LOCAL -

The cur­ricu­lum re­view com­mit­tee ( ), be­hind the re­cent stu­dent protests sur­round­ing changes to Tai­wan’s high school history cur­ricu­lum, has de­cided not to pub­li­cally re­lease a ros­ter of its mem­bers, it said yesterday.

Agree­ing to the pos­si­bil­ity of re­leas­ing the names of the com­mit­tee mem­bers was part of a plan pro­posed by Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Wu Se-hua ( ) to mol­lify an­gry stu­dents who had oc­cu­pied por- tions of the MOE while de­mand­ing his res­ig­na­tion over changes to the guide­lines. Ten days af­ter a prom­ise was made by Wu to protest­ing stu­dents re­gard­ing the ros­ter, the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion (MOE) stated that of the 43 mem­bers of the com­mit­tee, 27 (62.7 per­cent) re­jected moves to pub­li­cize the ros­ter while the re­main­ing 16 agreed.

In an evening press re­lease, the MOE stated that it “fully re­spected the de­ci­sion due to the ma­jor­ity of com­mit­tee mem­bers not agree­ing to the pub­li­ca­tion of the ros­ter.” The MOE added that such prac­tice was con­sis­tent with past poli­cies, in which the com­mit­tee ros­ter was only re­leased af­ter the print­ing of the most re­cent cur­ricu­lum guide­lines. Of­fi­cials main­tain that keep­ing the ros­ter se­cret is a mea­sure taken to pro­tect com­mit­tee mem­bers from pos­si­ble ob­struc­tion and main­tain their right to pri­vacy.

Wu had said that since the com­mit­tee mem­bers were in­formed pre­vi­ously that their state­ments in meet­ings would not be made public, tran­scripts of the meet­ings dur­ing the guide­line ad­just­ments would not be re­leased. He in­di­cated that ef­forts in the fu­ture may move in the di­rec­tion of pub­li­ca­tion.

The min­istry stated that the ros­ter is ex­pected to be re­leased in the first half of 2016.

Wang Ping-chen, who par­tic­i­pated in the stu­dent protests found the de­ci­sion to be “very dis­ap­point­ing.” She added how­ever that the ros­ter was not the most criti- cal as­pect, but rather the meet­ing agenda and tran­scripts. Wu sin­gled out a meet­ing on Jan. 25 of this year chaired by Taipei City Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion head Tang chi-min ( ) as an im­por­tant source of in­for­ma­tion.

The MOE added that it was “proac­tively com­mu­ni­cat­ing” with mem­bers of the com­mit­tee in or­der to con­duct ne­go­ti­a­tions with party cau­cuses in the leg­is­la­ture. An eval­u­a­tion of the cur­ricu­lum guide­lines, in which stu­dents have been in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in, is slated to be­gin at the end of the month.

Stu­dents protesters last month de­manded “mi­nor ad­just­ments” made to high school history cur­ricu­lum be with­held, ac­cus­ing the gov­ern­ment of a “black box op­er­a­tion” in tilt­ing history fa­vor­ing what they deemed “China-cen­tric.” As a com­pro­mise to end the strife ear­lier this month, the MOE will al­low both new and old cur­ricu­lum guide­lines to re­main avail­able to schools.

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