Watchdog urges probing of nursery school safety


TAIPEI — The Control Yuan demanded that the Ministry of the Interior check the safety and fire prevention measures of public nursery schools after finding that nearly 70 percent of them were in violation of existing regulations.

Control Yuan member Yin Jeo-chen said that in an investigation of 1,177 public nursery schools operating island wide, she found that 40.4 percent of them, or 476 schools, did not have a legal operating license, and 28.1 percent of them, or 331 schools, were found to be in violation of land use laws.

According to Yin, many government-funded nursery schools built from the 1960s to the 1980s borrowed space from local community centers or temples, leaving many kids to attend nursery schools in inappropriate environments.

Yin said the Control Yuan, the country’s top body responsible for monitoring the integrity of government officials and agencies, has requested the Interior Ministry to further investigate the unlicensed public schools and submit a report by the end of this year.

To solve the thorny problem of nursery school land use violations, Yin suggested that the ministry make use of space in public schools left unused because of Taiwan’s low birth rate to accommodate the preschoolers.