Wu Tsai-shun (吳財順)


Up-date: Wu Tsai-shun was appointed Deputy Minister of Education. I’m a little uncertain about the date of his appointment, but I suspect that it follows the resignation of Fan Sun-Lu. He continues to maintain a fairly low English-media profile, although you can find comments from him here.

Wu Tsai-shun (吳財順) is the director of the Ministry of Education’s Department of Elementary Education. Most of you, however, will know him as the spokesman for the MOE’s campaign to close bilingual kindergartens. Mr. Wu is a relative newcomer to the Taiwan political scene. No information is contained about him in Who’s Who in the ROC. The first mention I heard of him was back last year when the MOE began discussion of placing foreign teachers in public elementary schools. At the time, I did a web search for more information on him and found nothing.

Mr. Wu has made the news with his involvement in a number of other major policies. In particular, he has worked on policies to not divide students of the same grade into separate classes based on their academic test scores (also see this) and provide free tutoring for low-income students.

An interestingly discussion of scholarly and official opinions on language education in Taiwan has Mr. Wu quoted as saying that ones Mother Tongue should be learned in the home and Mandarin at school, but learning English will only “exhaust” children.

January 27, 2006

Assistant Minister of Education Resigns

Assistant Minster of Education Fan Shun-Lu (also spelled Fan Su-Lu and Fan Sun-Lu, but the Chinese characters are 范巽綠) will be resigning from her position. Fan has been one of the most controversial of all DPP appointees. Fan’s appointment became crucial to running the MOE because the Pan-Blue majority in the Legislative Yuan permitted the opposition to interfere with operations. The government was forced to run daily operations of the Ministry through committees set up by the Executive Yuan, thus making political appointees far more important than they otherwise should have been.

I have always maintained that Fan was unqualified for her position and was appointed solely because she has shown great loyalty and service to the DPP. The controversy surrounding her resignation is symptomatic of this problem. A thorough description of her troubles can be found in today’s China Post. Fan, in response, claims that she is resigning because she,

was actually forced out from the DPP government so that Minister Tu can stay on. Minister Tu is on the top of a list of Cabinet officials demanded by opposition parties to step down. However, Tu has gained strong backing from DPP factions that have been actively pushing for Taiwan independence. The DPP leaders’ final decision was to let Fan took the heat and leave so that Minister Tu may remain in the Cabinet, according to the sources.

One interesting point that I found while writing this post. Fan presided over a committee that refused compensation to residents of Lincoln Mansions. She’s not the only one, as you‘ll see if you read the article, but this is an interesting tid-but about her that I had missed until now.

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