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MOE to study small-school merger policy

MOE to study small-school merger policy

The Ministry of Education said yesterday that it will examine its small-school merger policy and evaluate related statistics before the end of September to safeguard students' educational rights.
In many countries and cities, remote small schools that have fewer than 100 faculty members and students are being merged in order to cut expenses. The Chinese-language United Evening News reported yesterday that the declining birthrate in remote areas, coupled with the migration of the population from those areas, has resulted in more and more small-school mergers.
Pan Wen-chung, director of the Department of Elementary Education under the MOE, said that the ministry will look closely at each merger to see if it justified.
"Each small school is different and diverse in nature. If the mergers affect students' right to receive education or force students to commute for more than one hour, then the MOE will offer suggestions to local governments to make changes," Pan was quoted as saying in the news report.
He stressed that local governments should make students' education rights and safety on the road top priorities when making school merger decisions, instead of focusing only on reducing expenses.
The 50-year-old FuNan Elementary School in Hualien County officially became history as its total student body of 10 will merge with a neighboring elementary school, effective this semester.
Hualien County Magistrate Hsieh Shen-shan said that in Hualien County, schools with fewer than 50 students are liable to be merged or closed. He said that in the central and south districts in Hualien County there are many schools with fewer than 50 students, but each school has its own characteristics and he is unwilling to see these small schools being merged.
However, there was no one enrolled at FuNan Elementary School this semester, so it had to be merged the magistrate said, adding that the move would save the country government NT$10 million annually.


Updated : 2021-04-13 16:40 GMT+08:00