The China Post staff
Representatives of the country’s teachers and parents yesterday, butted heads over the length of spring break, as the Ministry of Education (MOE) plans to cancel the three-day holiday for all elementary and junior high school students starting next year. In response to the MOE’s announcement, representatives from the National Teachers’ Association (NTA) said that “the proper time-off from school” is an important element in the education process.
Yang Yi-feng, a senior official with NTA, said if the cancellation of the spring break would help contribute to forming good study habits as the MOE has claimed, then why aren’t the high schools and colleges following suit? Yang urged education authorities to brief the public about their ambiguous decision to allow the above-mentioned schools to keep their spring break.
Currently, the country’s students between first and 12th grade are only going to school 196 days each year. Meanwhile, despite the teachers’ opposition to the education authorities’ decision to cancel spring break, representatives of parents actually welcomed the authorities’ latest move. Sophia C. Chan, president of Parents Association in Taipei, yesterday said due to the short gap between spring break and winter break, many children have been known to have problems staying focused on their school work in the first half of the second semester. Aside from serving as a distraction for children, spring break has also been interfering with many parents’ busy schedules, Chan added. She then pointed out that she did not think the cancellation of the three-day spring break would actually affect the teachers’ quality of teaching. Chan said it is understandable that the authorities’ decision would incite voices of objection from the teachers, yet their opposition should not be at the expense of teaching quality.