Update to protests against high school curriculum changes

It looks like students’ call for revoking changes to the high school history curriculum has not resulted in a reasonable response by the 教育部 (Ministry of Education). There have been further protest since I last wrote about the situation.

There were protests at 教育部 on July 5 and 6, 2015. This was the first time metal structures were positioned in front of 教育部, to keep students from entering the building. There were protests by student groups at the 國教署 (the administration of 教育部 that handles K-12 education) on July 13, 2015 and July 17, 2015. Students were able to lift the metal gate and enter. The MoE has planned explanation meetings in four cities on July 23, 2015. However August 1, 2015 (the date the new curriculum will go into effect) is looming and students are ramping up their protests.

Students have organized a protest for the afternoon of July 22, 2015 in front of 教育部. They plan to surround the building before the end of the work day. The best Facebook groups to follow for up to date information are probably 北區反課綱高校聯盟 and 反黑箱課綱行動聯盟.

I do hope the 教育部 responds with something reasonable. The one person who hasn’t come forward at all with a response is the head of 教育部. In the announcement of the meeting scheduled for July 23, it explicitly stated that he would not be present at any meeting. At some point someone needs to be accountable for making a poor decision that influences all students’ education. Attempting to teach an unbalanced curriculum is the last thing that should happen. As the students have said: this is not about pro-China or pro-independence, this is about providing a curriculum that explores all views and being open about our past.

As an aside, it looks like history teachers in Texas are dealing with the aftermath of a curriculum change and will have to do their best to teach a balanced curriculum even though their teaching materials are not balanced at all.


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