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Ministry of Education Launches Relief Efforts to Help Typhoon Morakot Victims

Ministry of Education Launches Relief Efforts to Help Typhoon Morakot Victims
Typhoon Morakot wreaked havoc, displacing many people and devastating numerous homes and schools. The disaster areas are in urgent need of aid for rebuilding efforts. In response, the Ministry has put forward several education-related relief measures. On top of that, it is recruiting 10,000 college students to visit and help rebuild the homes of many victims so that children there can go back to school when it begins in September.

Since the typhoon struck, the Ministry has been watching the schools and students' circumstances closely, with each school's security center staying on top of the school's latest developments. As of August 20, an estimated 1,311 schools had been damaged, with an estimated loss of over NT$2.58 billion. Tainan County was the worst hit, suffering a loss of more than NT$950 million. The second and third worst hit counties were Kaohsiung and Pingtung Counties, suffering a loss of more than NT$530 million and NT$300 million respectively.

So that these schools can reopen and students can start school as scheduled in September without having to worry about tuition, the Ministry has asked schools to swiftly place these students and treat them favorably in regard to enrollment and exams. The Ministry has also activated the Schooling Safety Net mechanism to help students that have difficulty paying tuition. In addition, a hotline (0809095757) is in place for students with enrollment-related problems to call for help.

The mechanism provides students with financial assistance so that they can go to school without worrying about money. With the help of the mechanism, each primary and junior high school student receives a subsidy of NT$1,500 and NT$1,600, respectively, per semester for school fees and a subsidy of NT$1,500 per student per month for lunches provided by the school. Meanwhile, in addition to a housing subsidy, senior high and vocational school students are exempted from paying tuition.

As far as living expenses are concerned, students from families lacking bare essentials are entitled to an educational subsidy of NT$5,000, with those whose homes are completely destroyed entitled to one a subsidy of NT$10,000. Students whose family members were hospitalized or died due to the typhoon are entitled to a subsidy ranging from NT$10,000 to NT$60,000.

In addition, the Ministry's Academia Industry Fund is being made available to these students. Applications will be speedily reviewed with funds swiftly remitted to those eligible to help them through this difficult period.

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