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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 08:16, November 12, 2004
Islanders assail authorities' outline of new history course
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After the "desinicization" was recently put forward by Chen Shuibian, Taiwan "ministry of education" on November 9 published on the Internet the draft of the outline of history course for regular senior middle schools. According to the draft, the outline of new history course is planned to be implemented in 2006, the "history of Taiwan" and "Chinese history" will be taught separately, besides the history of the Republic of China founded by Dr. Sun Yat-sen that is to be included in "Chinese history", the "San Francisco Peace Treaty", regarded by "Taiwan independence" elements as the juridical foundation of the "theory on the undecided standing of Taiwan", is formally included into the new history course, this move has been questioned and strongly attacked by various social circles.

Chang Jung-kung, spokesperson for the Kuomintang, on November 10 queried that this practice means "teaching on Taiwan independence", indicating that the pace of "Taiwan independence" has been quickened, which would make cross-Strait relationship very dangerous. Kuomintang Party chairman Lien Chan said "history is unalterable, the attempt to replace history with ideology means counting records but forgetting the ancestors". The Kuomintang "legislative committee member" Chang Hsiao-yen is of the opinion that history "should not be pieced up and distorted, the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) authority's action of enlarging the "theory on the undecided sovereignty of Taiwan" and incorporating it into history teaching materials is nothing good for Taiwan", "it will not only cause tension in cross-Strait relationship, but will also generate conflicts". People First Party's "legislative committee member" Li Ching-an indicates that the characteristic of history is a direct line of succession, now the DPP attempts to treat the "history of Taiwan" and "Chinese history" separately, and to include the revolution of Dr. Sun Yat-sen and the founding of the Republic of China into "Chinese history", its aim is to "de-China" and to carry out essential "Taiwan independence" by means of examination and teaching contents.

Yu Lin, principal of Taipei Middle School and association director-general, indicates that political ideology originally should not be brought onto the pure and clean school campus, he fears that doing so would result in the "dementia praecox" of students in the future. He calls on the authorities not to allow "political and ideological struggle to contaminate the last piece of pure land in Taiwan". Director Wu Ching-chi of Taipei Municipal Education Bureau also issued a serious warning, saying this would "cause confusion about history among students and difficulties for teachers in their teaching". Experts hold that now the course to be reformed in Taiwan has the "tendency of Taiwan independence", the severance of "the history of Taiwan" with "Chinese history" would cause the conception of history to become one-sided, hasty implementation of the new history outline would completely upset teachers' teaching logics. Some grass-roots teachers, when being interviewed, said that the new course outline is mixed with many political things and is contrary to historical facts, thus making teaching very difficult.

By People's Daily Online

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