DPP calls for revision of controversial history texts
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-05-06 04:57 PM
DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien criticized the procedures used to develop and approve textbooks in Taiwan Tuesday, complaining that the Textbook Committee in the Ministry of Education is made up of cronies of Minister Chiang Wei-ling. Lin criticized a high school history text which warns that the Taiwan Independence movement will “lead Taiwanese society into confusion over its national identity”' and even bring disorder in its electoral system. Lin said such content runs counter to the spirit of democracy and is a serious flaw that must be corrected. He said that even as Chiang pushes for what he calls "the right choice in schools," the committee is “putting black-hearted foods on the shelf for consumers to choose from.”

Lin said the ministry is using textbooks that are biased and inconsistent with the facts and violate the principles of democratic education. The DPP will conduct a thorough investigation of the procedures followed in developing and approving textbooks in the ministry, said Lin, and will ask that books with questionable content be returned to book publishers for corrections. Lin said the whole textbook review process at the Ministry of Education is out of whack and the DPP will step up its oversight of the system to guard against incorrect materials.

Lin read phrases from the texts "Historical Records and Culture," publication Number 0897, identified as volume one of the Standard High School History Text, and Number.0911, volume two of the series. He singled out a section which read, "The Taiwan independence movement is a denial of the ROC and its Constitution and could lead Taiwanese society into disorder over its identity. It is not conducive to future development in Taiwan ethnic issues. Some ethnic problems stem from elections in Taiwan. Some ethnic groups which have already been. gradually assimilated into society are being stirred up in elections, with some political parties deliberately creating ethnic tensions in order to win elections. This can have a seriously adverse effect on the overall development of society in Taiwan.” In addition, media sources have also come up with handouts, test papers and other materials designed for use in conjunction with these textbooks which denigrate and defame Taiwan’s democratic opposition.

Lin pointed out that it is widely recognized that Taiwan is an independent sovereign nation and demanded that the government refrain from publishing textbooks that glorify the ruling party while heaping scorn on the opposition, in the process even sullying democratic elections with reactionary remarks. Even more worrying, said Lin, is that if textbooks produced using a ‘black box’ approach that stifles outside input are allowed to stand for the 2014 school year, in the future even more exaggerated content will be offered in the government’s efforts to brainwash young students.

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