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On December 19 and 20, the Ministry of Education invited student representatives from senior high and vocational schools to attend a forum on education. Many students expressed their opinions on the curriculum and civic education, and also on choosing majors and career development.

UDN reports, the high school representatives note that the schools are still driven by the concept of pursuing higher education, so the career counsel class that helps student decide which school or career to enter is usually replaced by main subjects.

Therefore, students usually lack common sense regarding occupations, and a large part of them would rather choose to major in science-related subjects because they believe they might not be able to find a job if they choose other majors.

Chu, a student from Wanfang High School, says that science majors and social science majors take the same exams in the first university entrance exam; but in the second entrance exam, science majors can attend both the tests for science majors and social science majors. Chu and Chu’s classmates believe that choosing to major in science means you will have more options in the future, and this is what they are doing.

On the other hand, the vocational students point out that many of them did not really understand the careers they are going to enter when they were in junior high.

Some might choose to major in mechanical engineering at first, but later discover that they are more interested in design. If they want to switch majors, they have to pass several exams, which are relatively difficult if they were not design majors.

Apple Daily reports, there are high school students that advised We Su-hua during the forum that the Ministry of Education should refer to the philosophy classes in French high schools and add news discussion classes as part of civic education.

The students suggest giving them the right to participate in discussions and to add critical thinking training into the curriculum guidelines. They also suggest the minister to regularly hold camps or forums, which have law experts and scholars to give speeches to enhance civic awareness of students.

Liberty Times reports, Wu says that according to the current decision model within the Ministry of Education, these problems probably can’t be improved immediately, but they can still start from small pilot experiments, such as canceling morning assembly for a specific class.

In addition, some students that suggest that high school students shouldn’t have to take compulsory auxiliary courses during winter and summer vacations.

But an official from the Education Administration quotes a principal and says that laziness is human nature. If compulsory courses during winter and summer vacations are canceled, do the students have the ability to plan out their time?

The official thus suggests to further reflection on this proposal and encourages schools to offer more courses that meet the student’s expectations.

Translated by June
Edited by Olivia Yang