921 quake survivor wins teacher's award for promoting scouting education

09/26/2022 06:10 PM
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Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (left) presents an excellent teacher award to Lee Hsiu-ying, principal of Fu Chuen Elementary School in Taichung, during Monday
Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (left) presents an excellent teacher award to Lee Hsiu-ying, principal of Fu Chuen Elementary School in Taichung, during Monday's awards ceremony. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Education

Taipei, Sept. 26 (CNA) An educator in Taichung, who survived a major earthquake in 1999 by rappelling down a five-story building, received an excellent teacher's award from the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Monday for her special efforts to promote scouting education.

At the MOE's annual teacher and education award ceremony, Lee Hsiu-ying (李秀櫻) and 71 other recipients were honored as excellent teachers, while 20 people were recognized for their contribution to education, and 309 senior teachers received awards for 40 years or more of service.

Prior to the award ceremony, Lee told reporters that scouting education became a feature at Taichung Fuchun Elementary School where she serves as principal, after her experience during the magnitude 7.3 earthquake in central Taiwan on Sept. 21, 1999, which claimed 2,400 lives and left 11,000 people injured.

On that fateful night, Lee said, she was at home in Taichung in her fifth-floor apartment in a high-rise building, which toppled over during the quake.

She said the front door of her apartment was jammed, and the only way out was via the back balcony. With nothing more than a rope, Lee said, she made a bowline, as she had learned to do during her scouting classes, and she and her family were able to rappel down to safety.

That experience brought home the importance of scouting education, Le said, adding that she has since made it a priority at her school.

Another outstanding teacher awardee was Chang Che-yi (張哲溢), who heads the Office Of Academic Affairs at an elementary school in Taoyuan.

The MOE said Chang helped make a difference in the life of a socially disadvantaged student, who was once a troublemaker at school. With Chang's help, the student joined a school wheelbarrow race team and is now excelling, the MOE said.

President Tsai Ing-wen (left). CNA photo Sept. 26, 2022
President Tsai Ing-wen (left). CNA photo Sept. 26, 2022

Addressing the award ceremony, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years has posed great challenges in the education sector, and she thanked the nation's teachers for following the government's guidance on COVID-19 prevention and control.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said that since 2017, the ministry has spent NT$15 billion (US$471.38 million) to develop digital infrastructure through the government's Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program.

As a result, students were able to continue their classes via remote learning solutions during the school closures last year amid the COVID-19 outbreaks, he said.

(By Chen Chieh-ling and Evelyn Kao)

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