Legislators Call on Including High School Students as Official School Council Members

Legislators Call on Including High School Students as Official School Council Members
Photo Credit: 獨立記者林雨佑攝
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Legislator Xu Zhi-jie high school students have nowhere for their voices to be heard, so they can only demonstrate to express their opinions. He believes Ma's 12-year Compulsory Education policy should start from democratic education on campus.

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Last week, the principal of one of the most prominent high schools in Taiwan said, “all votes should not be equal" when asked about the evolution of the voting system.

Student media, “CK To The East,” reported excerpts from the principal’s words, which led to public debates.

This event also brought about heated discussion at the Legislative Yuan on November 23. In order to carry out democracy throughout the campus, Legislator Zheng Li-jun proposed to amend the Senior High School Education Act according to the University Act and make student representatives become part of a school council.

CNA reports, Legislator Xu Zhi-jie points out that now universities have become more liberal while high schools still remain conservative. With the feeling of citizenship being extended to youths, student protests have being popping up more often, such as students from National Taichung Girls Senior High School (TCGS) taking off their skirts to protest against the school uniforms.

These protests show that democracy has become mature in high schools, while there is no related rule that promotes students’ participation in democracy.

Xu also notes, high school students have nowhere for their voices to be heard, so they can only demonstrate to express their opinions. He believes Ma’s 12-year Compulsory Education policy should start from democratic education on campus. The schools should face student autonomy and their needs of democratic participation, and also examine the communication system regarding campus issues.

Apple Daily reports, Legislator Zheng Li-jun says that the school uniforms and incentive provisions should specifically take the students’ opinions into account, but not just for reference. Zheng requests that the Ministry of Education modify the Senior High School Education Act and add student representatives as official members of the school council.

China Times reports, the Minister of Education responds that he personally supports high school students attending school meetings and speaking up, but this issue relates to the operation of schools, so the ministry will need to discuss with the schools before making a decision.

Translated by June
Edited by Olivia Yang

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