Parents protest against new education system
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-06-21 05:50 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Parents took to the streets of Taipei Saturday to protest against the government’s handling of the new 12-year compulsory education system.

The system, which was launched this year, has come under fire for showing too many flaws and for failing to give students what they need. Changes in testing methods were described as experiments using pupils as white mice for testing.

“We have to save our children ourselves” was the key slogan of Saturday’s march, which took protesters past the Presidential Office Building and the Legislative Yuan.

More than 500 parents, children and sympathizers walked through downtown Taipei carrying red balloons with slogans. They demanded the Ministry of Education immediately halt the implementation of the 12-year system and fix its problems before students were subjected to more of its tests.

Protesters mentioned the example of the daughter of opposition Taipei City mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je. The girl failed to be allowed to enter the Taipei First Girls High School because of problems with scores for an essay, one part of the entrance examination.

Some of the parents compared the testing methods to a form of gambling, with the students unsure of where they would be able to study the following year.

Scuffles erupted as the marchers passed the Executive Yuan building and hit police officers with balloons, reports said. Calls were heard for the resignation of Premier Jiang Yi-huah and Education Minister Chiang Wei-ling.

After their arrival outside the Legislature, the protesters were addressed by education experts who analyzed the 12-year compulsory education system and suggested improvements.

The opposition Democratic Progressive Party accused the government of throwing more than 200,000 households into anxiety because of the uncertainties of the new system. The DPP said it had proposed an eight-year period during which changes should be gradually introduced while local education was improved by communicating with parents and teachers.

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