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MOE keeps firm on One Standard, Multiple Textbooks policy

MOE keeps firm on One Standard, Multiple Textbooks policy
After the MOE implemented the "One Standard, Multiple Textbooks" policy, within its educational reform, students are no longer to learn in a boring, stale way, such as memorizing their textbooks word by word.

The MOE hopes to reach a kind of ideal learning situation where teachers do not teach completely based on the textbooks, but in creative ways that encourage students to engage in discussions. For example, elementary school students can study geography and culture by doing field surveys instead of memorizing facts about historical dynasties just to pass exams.

Scholars against One Standard, One Textbook policy

Yeh Gao-hua, a doctorial student in geography at NTU, wrote an Op-Ed article in which he discussed the One Standard, Multiple Textbooks policy from an economic angle.

Teachers and students are the users of the textbooks, he said, and teachers enjoy the right to choose the textbooks. This forces the book publishers to consider teachers' suggestions and respond to them.

In this way, textbook contents improve every year unlike in the past when the National Institute for Compilation and Translation monopolized the market and it would take ten years to revise textbook contents.

Teachers say One Standard, One Textbook can't solve the problems

"People tend to be lazy," said Lee Jing-Fong, a teacher of Junghe Junior High School in Taipei County, "so a flexible teaching system is necessary to allow teachers to choose their own teaching material and diversify their teaching every year."

Despite the content similarity among the textbooks, each version has a uniqueness that allows teachers to bring their skills into full play.

"Moreover, if Departments of Education around the island were to have their own versions of textbooks, it is hard to prevent the application of teaching materials from the political manipulation of county magistrates and city mayors during election time every four years; that would exert an appalling influence on long-term education," said Lee.

Parents want diversification

"Our nine-year compulsory education faced much resistance during its trial run, and until today, some teachers do not accept it," said Lin Wen-Hu, the director of the Parents Education Association in Taipei City.

"Doing away with the spirit of diversification so essential to this nine-year compulsory education system, would mean a retrogressed Taiwan education," he said.

Despite voices of opposition, the seeds of education reform have been spread and its fruits can soon be harvested, signaling a point of no return to the traditional system of the Joint College Entrance Examinations.

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