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Talk of the Day -- Worries about Chinese class reductions

2014/05/03 17:01:59

The Association to Remedy Chinese Language Education Friday expressed its disapproval of a plan to reduce the required hours of Chinese classes in school curriculum.

Under the curriculum proposed by the National Academy for Educational Research (NAER), junior and senior high school students would see required Chinese classes reduced by one class each week, which the association worries could worsen students' language and literature skills.

Poet Yu Kawng-chung, writer and former lawmaker Chang Show-foong, and former National Taiwan University President Sun Chen are among the more than 30 prominent figures who have signed a petition launched in January against the move, the association said.

The following are excerpts from the United Daily News' coverage of the issue:

The association used its annual press event to commemorate May 4 Literary Day this year to voice concerns about the reduction of hours in Chinese classes in the curriculum scheduled to be introduced in 2018.

Lee Su-chen, executive secretary of the association, said that Chinese instruction has regressed several years since education reforms were introduced in 1995.

Soochow University professor Liu Yuan-tsun, who is also a deputy convener of the association, shared his observations that students' abilities to ask and answer questions have deteriorated, a phenomenon which he attributed to an inability to express themselves through language.

In response, Fan Hsin-hsien, director of the NAER's Research Center for Curriculum and Instruction, explained that although four of the 24 credits in Chinese are expected to be categorized as elective courses under the proposed curriculum, the total hours required for graduation remain the same.

The change, which will be introduced across all subjects, is aimed at allowing students to choose courses more suitable for their personal needs, he said. (May 3, 2014)

(By Kay Liu)