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United Daily News: Reckless mindset behind government blunders

United Daily News: Reckless mindset behind government blunders

Various agencies under the Cabinet were recently mired in controversy over some obviously ill-considered steps they had taken. One of them was the Ministry of Education (MOE), which wrote to all levels of schools requiring them to ban teacher-student romance, as well as planning to forbid cram schools from recruiting children under the age of six for certain classes. The Ministry of Justice, meanwhile, planned to revise personal data protection regulations in such a way that online manhunts would become illegal. On the teacher-student romance issue, the MOE failed to present a solution, only causing a stir. What need to be regulated are "abnormal" teacher-student relationships or those involving underage students, not all teacher-student romances. On the cram school issue, the MOE believed preschoolers should not attend classes that require a lot of memorization and writing. However, some education theories suggest exposing children to such skills to induce their potential. What the MOE can do is require cram school operators to make their teaching more lively, flexible and heuristic, rather than banning these classes altogether. As for online manhunts, protecting people's reasonable rights to use the Internet is as important as protecting privacy. Furthermore, an online manhunt is usually driven by public indignation and involves the joint action of a large number of netizens. The law will be impossible to enforce unless the element of illegality of such an action is clearly defined. There is a need for our government agencies to strengthen their "pro-people mindset" and help people solve their problems, instead of only imposing bans. (Editorial abstract -- Nov. 5, 2011) (By Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-03-05 06:30 GMT+08:00