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Mayor Backs Single Textbook Policy at School Principals' Conference

Mayor Hau Lung-bin attended the Taipei City School Principals' Conference on August 20. The attendees of the meeting include principals from both Taipei's middle schools and high schools.

At the gathering, Hau emphasized the importance of implementing the single-version textbook policy to help students and teachers avoid unnecessary loss of time on covering multiple textbooks with similar contents. In addition, parents can also save money from not having to buy so many books.

Hau remarked that he has looked through all the different textbooks for local middle schools and high schools. Noting only minor differences between the books on the same subject, he believes that it is meaningless to force students to go through all of them when the contents are almost identical.

According to the mayor, the learning process should be something fun for the kids; we do not want a policy that destroys their desire to learn. He does not want to create legions of test-takers who excel at taking exams and who give up learning when they get into college. Hau pointed out that the motivation to learn should come from the students themselves; a desire to learn is the only way to ensure that they will continue to learn beyond school.

Comparing education to a marathon, Hau said we do not want to train kids that use all they have for the first 100 meters. The reason for adopting the single-version textbook is to lessen the pressure on the students and their parents. He stressed that the objective of Taipei’s education policy is not entirely academic-oriented; the City also seek to help students develop moral and ethical values as well.

On the issue of enrolling students from disaster areas, Hau reported that there are 4,200 openings available at local schools. The mayor asked the principals to treat these new pupils as their own children, helping them adjust to life in Taipei.